Episode #167: The Same Game (Song starts at: 3:50)
After focusing on the lyrics for the majority of last week’s episode, as it turns out, here, we are mostly looking at the music composition of song # 672, ‘The Same Game’.
The lyrics are about that moment when you finally arrive home after a long day out and about. Maybe a candle is lit, some relaxing music is put on, then you sit back and think about everything that happened in the day. We go through a lot each day, us humans – with our interactions and commitments, the unexpected things that happen.
Ultimately as we go through our lives, we are all doing and learning as we go along ~ playing the same game, in effect.
I found some video of Paul Dredge and I constructing the music together from scratch. I’ve edited the audio from the video into sections and offer insights into what’s happening at each stage of the co-songwriting process.
So on this episode, you get to be in the room with us back in 2017, as we work together, composing what turned out to be the 2nd song on the album ‘The Untrodden Track’ (folk rock).
Listening back, this is actually a great example of how Paul and I write together.
It’s fascinating to listen to how a song can take shape and transform in such a short time.
It’s takes a lot of trust and mutual respect to write a song with another person. It’s one thing to let go and ‘play’ when you’re in a room by yourself. You allow each other the freedom to make the mistakes, laugh and then carry on.You also have to have absolute faith in the other person’s ability and freedom in the moment.
A feature of working together is: there is a performance element that comes into play. Well, there is for Paul and I, having played 1000s of gigs together, we push each other on as we go along and this lifts the whole energy.
There’s a natural give and take between us as we allow time and space for each other’s strengths to come into play – and the unexpected turns one might take is supported by the other, much like theatre sports.
It may turn out to be cul de sac, but worth exploring nonetheless. It may turn out to be the whole chorus, or an apparent dead end moment may end up leading us on to a whole unthought of arrangement idea.
We did eventually come to a full stop the original title, which was ‘Second Chance’. We completely discarded lines like these:
it’s never too late to turn around in the dance
Haven’t we all got a second chance?
On reflection, perhaps these lines are a little cliched, clumsy and trite, so editing them out in the moment was the right thing to do,
Or… maybe it’s not such a full stop – I could now choose to write another song, ‘Second Chance’, with and edited version of these lyrics – and maybe I will.
That’s the nature of the creative flow: you just keep on moving along and go with the flow. Which is really a case of just constantly learning by making mistakes and moving on – again, it’s a lot like life, then: ‘The Same Game’ we are all playing.
So the title and the lyrics ring true, then. It all comes down to the story… just like making a movie, story is number #1.
This is the most ‘pop rock- ish’ sort of song on the album, ‘The Untrodden Track’. The album cut is the version you’ll here on this episode – plus you’ll hear the audio of pretty much the whole song improvised live, in pieces, as it’s taking shape.
Ok , welcome to the songwriting room. Grab a coffee. It’s mid-morning in Melbourne in 2017 and we’ve just had some breakfast.
Paul has picked up his guitar and I have a page of lyrics in my hand, ready to ‘wing’ a melody along with his music.
Here we go. Enjoy!