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Monday, October 8, 2012

10-06-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians -- Starter Job #214 (The Squares “Can’t Stop The Rain” pt. 2)


So, I put my nervous headache and migraine aside and bravely faced the music (literally). We drove back at the office/writing room for Malloy and Brannon just in time for a “working lunch” to finish writing a song with five people in a -- a “Nashville Committee” songwriting session. I’d heard about them & was so excited! I would now have to prove myself in a competitive group of writer-musicians, two of whom I knew well. And as much as I like to be “nice” and polite and never step on others’ proverbial toes, I WILL speak up when necessary.

Once in the writing room, I sat on the floor, and the guys sat around casually, too. I had a pen and notebook in hand rather than a guitar -- Bruce and Tom had their instruments. I started out saying, “Now here, this melody -- what if you took the last part of this line and started with it because it sounds more interesting?”

Those few notes/that part of the melody became the top of the verse. Bruce added full, dramatic guitar strums -- a D - D - E pattern. Tom noodled around on bass and got the “Shakin’ All Over” bassline to fit.

“And how about that repetitive part, ‘Nah nah nah nah. . .’ -- that can start the chorus?” My brain was on fire. I was deconstructing and reconstructing the melody because it needed some juicing up, sprucing up -- pruning too, perhaps.

After maybe 20 minutes of getting the song melody and structure tight, I tuned out everything else in the room and remembered sensory images -- sights, sounds, smells -- from the summer I had my heart broken for the first time. I thought of how flowers start to die. . . came up with the line, “Last rose of summer, withered” and I thought, what else, what else? I got it:

“--Like the love gone in your eyes.” Gone or lost? Somehow, “gone” sounded more country.

Malloy and Brannon approved of the direction of the lyrics, so I plowed on and sketched out lyrics that included a chorus, “Can’t Stop the Rain, Can’t hide the pain, I see the flash, I hear the thunder--“

The rest of the chorus goes, “--It’s going to fall, despite it all, but I won’t let it drag me under: No, you can’t stop the rain.”

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