Pouring Emotion Into Your Song

Posted by on | Comments Off on Pouring Emotion Into Your Song

When I write, there are a few priorities I focus on that will have a major impact with the song. On the top of the list is “pouring emotion into your song”. I want the listener to “feel something” when they hear it.

If they do, I feel I have succeeded at some level. That emotion is transferred from the writer, to the singer, to the listener. I’m never really concerned all that much about song mechanics, perfect rhyming, being structurally correct and all that stuff. I want the song to be real and believable. That’s why I mostly write about what I know and familiar with. Real life dramas, real life experiences. Write the truth. Be conversational. Write as you speak!

One example of that was a song I wrote a few years back entitled “Looks Like Up To Me”. It’s based on a book I once ready by Mississippi author Eudora Welty. The story line is about the plight of the south after the Great Depression. Those were the hardest of times and folks were struggling just to survive. They basically had nothing, and things got so bad they could hardly get much worse. I was totally captivated and moved by what I read. That spawned the line “Been down so long, it looks like up to me”…..which became the battle cry of my song. I attempted to tell their story, pouring as much emotion and feeling into the song as I could muster.

It actually took me years to write, with several incarnations, before I felt I effectively captured the spirit of the song. Here are the lyrics, and if there was one thing I would want to impart to all writers, it would be: ‘Write what you feel, feel what you write”. 

Looks Like Up To Me
@Rick Lang

When it comes to troubles, Lord knows I’ve had my share got my share,
I can’t remember when I felt so low.
The crops have all been ruined by the flood this year,
And they’ve repossessed most everything I own.
I’m drowning in a sea of misery.
Been down so long it looks like up to me.

The more I try to get ahead, it seems the more I get behind.
And every day it’s just more of the same.
The front porch still needs fixin’, but the cost is much too high.
And that ol’ tin roof still leaks when it rains.
I’m doomed to live my life in poverty.
Been down on the bottom for so long…it looks like up to me.

*CHORUS
They say to keep my chin up, look on the brighter side
But the situation’s hopeless as can be
From way down here everything I see….looks like up to me
….Looks like up to me

I’ve watched my life unravel, right down to the last thread.
All I’ve worked for vanish in thin air.
I feel just like a pebble you toss into a well.
I keep fallin’, but I ain’t hit bottom yet.
Here I am Lord on my bended knees.
Been down on the bottom for so long…it looks like up to me.

*CHORUS
They say to keep my chin up, look on the brighter side
But the situation’s hopeless as can be
From way down here everything I see….looks like up to me
…Looks like up to me