In my Nashville motel room, trying to work on a song “by committee” and under a deadline, I was sickened by a migraine/stress headache combo. That was unusual, because at this time in my life, I had almost stopped getting migraines; I’d had them as a little kid up to about my teens, kind of weird because most people get them as adults and can’t shake ‘em. . .
Anyway, we were due back at the office/writing room for Malloy and Brannon in a few hours, at which time we’d have a “working lunch” and pound out a song that five people in a room were scheduled to work on and write. Talk about pressure! I felt so nervous, but knew it was doable because I think quickly and words are my absolute stock in trade (if you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ll agree).
True enough, lyrics aren’t just your everyday kind of words, they have meter and meaning and rhythm and rhyme. However, I’m quite adept at wordsmithing, from starting out as a poet and poetaster (one who writes rhyming lines that aren’t always poetic but will do in a pinch).
And, even though I was sort of channeling Roy Orbison, I knew that the lyrics would have to be about rain. That narrowed down things considerably, in my mind. I’d write about the inevitable rain in life, the rain on my parade that came sometimes, the rain that came when love was in vain. My first love was so very painful to me. . . I was only fifteen, and it was so intense to fall for a guy so completely and so stupidly.
I thought about it, and the time of year (the end of summer), and the kind of rainstorms that resulted (thunderstorms, very dramatic and so perfect). I didn’t have anything written down going into that lunch/writing session, but in my mind, I had a sketch started. . .