Friday, November 14, 2008

The Birth of a Song

Writing a song is a lot like having a kid I think.  

Sometimes when you don't plan it, a song is conceived.  Maybe you hear a phrase someone says in a movie, or at church, or soaped on the back of a car, and you think, "Wow, that would make a great song!"  You scribble it down on the nearest piece of paper, or sing it into your phone's recording device, or leave yourself a message on your answering machine: you can't forget how this little melodic and lyrical idea goes!

The pregnancy is the development of the song; what it will look like, how the verses will support the chorus, is the chorus universal enough that it can be sung over and over?  Does the singer progress throughout the course of the song?  Is the listener taken on a journey somewhere?  How with this be conveyed musically?  Fast? Slow? High? Low? Rocker? Ballad? Steak? Salad? (what?)

The labor starts when you get in the studio and have to make a final decision on how this song will be forever remembered!  Pick the instruments and the people playing them.  Choose a tempo and a key, decide when to come in and when to drop out, when to 'get big' and when to quiet down. 

The Delivery is when a song has been completed and those closely involved in the entire process can listen to it and proudly announce, "It's a Song!"  We marvel at what took so long to develop, and hold it high, sometimes a little too high, but most people are a little biased when it comes to being proud of their own! ;)

Then you leave the hospital and take the baby home, and there's a period of time where you have your new baby all to yourself.  I've heard 4 of my new songs tonight completed for the first time, and I've probably listened to them a hundred times already (not really, but close) but they haven't been released to 'the world' yet.  

Then the Presentation of the baby, whether it's that first Sunday back at church, or when everyone comes over to the house (because you let them).  That's kinda like the Album Release.  Now the world can look, and listen, and tell you what they think about whether or not they like your baby!  

But those of you who are parents (of babies or songs) know that you can't help but love your own kids. 

9 comments:

Heather said...

"Lol" That's really the only thing I can come up with, but I'm pretty sure it's not as painful to make a song as it is to have a kid, but neither of us knows that for sure, now do we?

Mayra said...

2 posts in one day? YAY!! I like your analogy. I am patiently waiting for you to introduce your new babies...Fall 09...one year away...haha.

Dougherty Family said...

Thank you, thank you for sharing the gifts God has given you. Your songs are so comforting. A line of tornadoes touched down a mile and a half down the road from our house. A little boy lost this life - a lady in a neighboring county lost her life - houses were damaged and homes lost. As I watched the news tonight - tears streamed down my face. I posted a prayer request on my blog - the song playing on my blog playlist - "Watch Over Me". How comforting to be reminded that God watches over us. Thank you for sharing His heart!
Amanda in NC

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your analogy! I am a fledgling song writer - and find I share the same experiences as you - which is exciting - my cell phone is loaded with little notes - sayings - words that I've heard or felt - along with little tunes, and I have more scraps of paper than I care too, but I always have to have a pencil & paper on me.

Haven't gotten to the recording part - and don't know that I will necessarily - I'm not a singer, just ask my 17 year old daughter! Anyway - it was very interesting to read how your songs are born! I hope you have many, many children!

Diana

Anonymous said...

I just started watching the videos on Shustube - what a riot! I loved the Aaron MacShust one - Thanks for posting them - it is really fun to see what you are up to!

Diana

Anonymous said...

Oh Aaron, HEY! Last Year I watched you performing a Christmas SONG on The 700 CLUB- on TV !

You're SOooOOooOOOoooOOOOooooOOOOOOoooooo ! Talented ! And you ALWAYS got The Christmas Spirit--- Because You got JESUS in Your Life ! See - You've Made AN IMPRESSION on your Fans , ( There's More of US than You Know Of !!!

Devoted said...

LOL! Great post and analogy! Love your music! May God continue to use you to bless others. ~Theresa

Anonymous said...

Such an amazing analogy....you are truly a gifted writer! And, having recently been through ALL of those steps for my third baby (child, not song!) I can totally relate! My husband and I saw you in Sweet Home Oregon (remember all the tech difficulties!!) and were so blessed by your music. You truly allow God to speak through you. May He bless you, your family, and your "babies". --Jill in Oregon

Anonymous said...

Congrats To You Whether You're Birthing Some New SONGS or A Newborn Son !!! :o ) Betcha You Won't get a Good Night's SLEEP For Days , Because of all the EXCITEMENT ! By the WAY- Did YOU decide on THE NAME- of your SON , yet ???