A moving of the mind or soul; excitement of the feelings, whether pleasing or painful; disturbance or agitation of mind caused by a specific exciting thing and manifested by some sensible effect on the body.
A moving of the mind, an excitement of the feelings. Think of all the times in your life you've been emotional. The first kiss, a sad movie, a beautiful spring day, Christmas, the passing of a loved one. All of these experiences are real, honest and heartfelt.
Find and tap into that wonderful wellspring of emotions that make your life unique. Every one of them holds a true response to an event and can easily translate into a song. Emotions are the truth in your story telling. It is the universal language that we all speak. Everyone has felt first love, can identify with the loss of something wonderful, we all feel joy, sorrow, anger and delight. If you can describe these in your songs, you can paint a picture that everyone can see.
We've talked a bit about finding the kernel that makes your song tick. But emotions are the colours used to embellish that kernel and make it understood and felt by your listening audience. Pick a subject, anything - your new job. Okay, that's a good idea. How do you feel about it? Are you happy? Are you scared? Are you excited? Are you totally frozen with fear? Describe how this feels. Make a laundry list. We talked about making these lists as a way to get the juices flowing. Describe in detail everything about this. Ask your friends how they feel about their jobs. Use it as comparison.
Basically, what I'm trying to get you to do is look at everyday situations with emotions rather than words. By colouring your everyday world, you can begin to see what rings true for you. There is an old saying in songwriting ~ "If it rings true for you, it will ring true for others." Don't just tell me about your job, tell me how you feel. Everyone wants to connect with something and someone. But a word of caution, it must be real. For along with the emotional painting must come the belief that it truly happened and you really felt or feel that way. There is nothing worse than a song about something nobody believes or cares about.
Emotions can change the way we feel and words used to describe emotions speak an eloquent language. Love, heartbreak, laughter, pain, sorrow, joy ~ what do you feel like when you experience these things. 'I felt like I was sinking in quicksand with no hope of getting free' - despair; 'my heart spread its wings and flew away' - joy; 'a tear trickled down my face as I held her hand' - sadness…do you get the idea?
Start by reading poetry, beat poets, romantics, gothic, Shakespeare, anything that will take your mind somewhere else. Look at how the great writers express their emotions. Learn from the jazz masters. There is so much to see when you look at things emotionally.
Until next month, KEEP WRITING!!
Jane Eamon is a prolific performing songwriter in the Okanagan Valley. Veteran of many songwriting workshops, she's currently one of the hosts of the popular Songwriters in the Round series in Kelowna. Write to her at email@example.com.
Jane Eamon is a prolific performing songwriter in the Okanagan Valley. Veteran of many songwriting workshops, she's currently one of the hosts of the popular Songwriters in the Round series in Kelowna. Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit her website: www.janeandgord.com