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Episode #146: Sure Does Fly (Song starts at 5:22)
Relationships are often the catalyst for spot of songwriting.
Going way back to to 1987 now. I wrote this song for my brother.
It’s quite a personal song, focussing on old memories – particularly an image of a summer evening in New Zealand from my childhood. The blackbirds were singing, the colours were starting to drift toward the purple spectrum as the sun set. I was outside, playing sport with my elder brother (as we did, right up til darkness fell).
It’s a poignant memory for me, of seemingly never ending years of a largely happy childhood.
Siblings play a key role in our development. We share traits, we are bonded and we learn about our differences as the years go by.
I enjoyed singing and playing the song for this episode. It’s been years since I tried to play it.
The song came to mind when the blackbirds song floated across the beach to me from the bush on the bluff. There are pockets of blackbirds here in this part of Melbourne. An introduced species (from the UK) to both New Zealand and Australia. They bring back memories of my childhood. I can understand why our ancestors chose to introduce animals from their homeland, unfortunately at the expense of local species).
The blackbird call is soothing to listen to. The males sing at the change of light, the magic time. They float tunes and experiment with different notes and phrases, much like a songwriter does.
Back in 1987, I sat at the piano and as I looked at the words I’d already written, I let my fingers wander on the keys as I floated a melody, experimenting. With notes and phrasing, much like the blackbird.
It does take time to build up the theory. It gives you confidence to play intuitively. The notes find the ‘right’ keys and your voice does likewise.
The listener picks up on the feelings in the song that may awaken memories. An attachment forms and those memories are recalled whenever the song is heard.
That’s the magic of a song.
It’s also a magic feeling playing and singing a song you’ve written down through the years. It’s a step on, to listen to a recorded version of one of your songs. This is the way other people hear the song. You are no longer involved in the performance, so your mind is free to focus on the overall sound, and also the details.
As I’ve said a few times, it’s a real pleasure to be recording these episodes. It gets me into a creative state of mind. I enjoy finding out more about the songs, more about the songwriting process as ideas pop into my mind while I’m charting and playing the piano.
Sit back and have a listen as I sing and explore ‘Sure Does Fly’ bringing old memories to the surface.