Songwriting, The Song Well, Tunesday

Tunesday: Sept. 8th: The Good Times Are Here

Every Tunesday I post a boldly imperfect, one-take song draft of a song.

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Can’t sleep tonight
for the roses in my sheets
Can’t sleep tonight
For the thorns my soul does keep
The highway is all backed up
The devil’s toasting cheers
The good times are here

Don’t want to fight
with the rise of the levee
Don’t want to fight
with the boiling of the sea
I’d rather season all my french fries
with the saline from my tears
The good times are here

The moonlight is a mule
Caffeine espresso fuel
My cupboard’s dreams are bare
I want sleep but sleep don’t care

I can’t sleep tonight
I’m locked out in the cold
I can’t sleep tonight
I’m a weed on a side road
I don’t have to find my way home
but I ain’t sleeping here
The good times are here

The orchestra is playing
And banjos are all I hear
The good times are here.

Music Theory, Songwriting, The Muse, Writing

Saturday Songwriting: Road and Weeds

We all struggle from time to time with doing the work we’d like to do. It’s hard to find time to write. It’s easy to fritter away an hour or two on Facebook while intending to write. Beating ourselves up when we don’t use our time the way we’d like to is easy too. (Saying it doesn’t help much to beat myself up has rarely stopped me from doing it). So what’s the answer?  

I think one answer is in BJ Fogg’s, “Tiny Habits,” (which I talked about a little last week here). 

The question he poses goes something like this: 

What’s the tiny, nearly effortless step you can take which could work as a catalyst to get you started?  

One of his examples is flossing one tooth. Another is doing two pushups. When he does either of those things, he celebrates, which helps encode the behavior that his brain should repeat (and celebrate more). There’s a lot more scaffolding BJ talks about to support and build the habits we want in our lives, but it’s pretty much that simple.   

1. Find a habit you’re already doing that could naturally lead into the habit you’d like to add into your life. (He calls the current habit an anchor). 

2. Find a tiny behavior that supports that habit, like flossing one tooth—something so small you don’t need to be motivated to do it. Then do it. 

3. Celebrate performing that behavior.  

Which leads to the question, what is a tiny habit you might use to start writing a song? Email them to me, I’d love to know how you plan to get started. (Celebrate having doing one before you email me).  

The Prompt:

Here’s a link to Denise Antaya’s image, Puddles

The Musical Idea:


Tunesday: Sept. 1st: Shuffle of Moonlight

Every Tunesday I post a boldly imperfect, one-take song draft of a song.

Success! You’re on the list.

In the shuffle of the moonlight 
She whispered in his ear 
The memory of a raven 
The dancing of a deer 

In the Gossip of the moonlight
He new he didn’t care 
Of his promise to another 
In the strut of love’s affairs 

Orphans never lose their loss of home 
Drift together in the river’s flow 

The secrets of a river 
are the stones it can’t ignore 
Like the rustle of a first kiss 
That flutters on it’s shore 

Goosedown feather blankets 
The weathered brush of wool 
A lover is a soft bed 
that scratches at you too 

A jewel round on your shoulders
A joy beneath your tongue
The murmur of the soft sound
of the hush of two as one


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I recently stumbled onto BJ Fogg’s “Tiny Habits.” B.J. is a behavior scientist. He studies how people form habits. What makes habits stick.  

The short answer?  


Celebration is the glue that makes a habit sticky.  As a who was person raised in a “you’ll do the work because it’s what’s expected of you,” type of environment I don’t truck much with celebration. Apparently though, it’s worth doing a little dance when I do something that I hope I’ll repeat in the future.   

I’ve read enough positive psychology to know it’s what I’m supposed to do for other people. But I never stopped to consider that a I’m human too. And being human, positive reinforcement might just work for me as well.

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