Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Story Behind the Song

Tonight I went to a Songwriter's Showcase benefit concert for the Big Oak Ranch. This is a major fundraiser for this ministry that is made possible through Randy Owen, from Alabama. The performers are songwriters of hit songs that we hear on the radio all the time - they told the stories behind the songs, and then performed. These people were not just some "nobody" people that write songs, hoping to one day make it big...they've already made it big, writing songs that have become #1 hits for people like Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, and sooooooo many others. It was such a neat experience to hear the stories of what inspired a song.
And, to also get to hear Alabama perform..."Lady, Down on Love", "Lead On", "Tennessee River"...it most definitely took me back to my childhood (That REALLY makes me feel old, by the way)!!
On the way home, I was thinking about all the many songs that are written. One of the songwriters said that someone asked him one time what he wrote about, and he said "my life - it's honest, and that's what moves people". That comment really stuck in my head. Songs affect us differently - some are funny, happy, sad, heart wrenching, inspiring, energizing, patriotic, informational, thought provoking, fun to dance to, easy to sing with...But, they are each written because of an experience in the life of the writer.

It made me wonder - if I were to write my life in a song, what would it sound like? How would it move someone - to cry, to laugh, to rewind and listen again? Would it be a song that anyone would want to hear?
Ironically, someone sent me one of those crazy quizzes on Facebook today, and it was "What is the theme song of your life?" Normally, I don't do a whole lot of those quizzes, but since I was pondering this thought anyway, I had to do it. The result was "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. You can listen to the song here. The result explanation said, "You live life to the max, and live each day like it's your last. You forget the rules, and just go for it, and want to experience it all before it disappears...Your life is a book...and your writing it! Love it, make it, work it, shape it...make it what YOU want! Don't forget a happy ending though!" Interesting........

So, next time you hear a song that sticks with you, think about the words...those were written by a real person with real life problems and joys. And know - there's always a story behind the song...

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