A festival for all writers and readers – Join us May 19-21, 2023

Ear Worms & Other Delights, Songs & Song Writing

This will be a 3-hour exploration of song writing with a couple of people (Ed & Gail Peekeekoot) who have known and loved a lot of songs over the years and have written and recorded a few too. Here are some things we’ll be doing:
What is it about a song that catches our ears and our hearts? Participants are asked to bring a professionally recorded song they wish they had written – but didn’t – and share why they chose that song. Even if we don’t have time to hear and discuss every song brought to the session, the process of selecting one will hopefully be engaging, perhaps fun and may help you add to your own writing toolkit.

Why sing it when you can just say it? We’ll have a group conversation about the differences between poetry and songs. Some songs are pure poetry, and some poetry just can’t be sung. (We bow here to Leonard Cohen who masterfully pulled off both.)
Beyond the lyrics, it’s the rhythm, the chords, and the instrumentation (including the vocals) that contribute to a great song. While we can only touch briefly on this topic, we couldn’t talk about song writing without it. What is it about a song that makes you hit replay over and over and over?

How do we tap into inspiration? As a group, we’ll brainstorm a list of things (from the ridiculous to the sublime) that have worked to get us each into the zone. We’ll finish this section with a guided meditation followed by a few minutes to journal about a song that wants you to write it.

Rhyme, Reason, and Doggerel. We’ll talk about rhyme structures and will have examples of some rhymes that are so delicious you can taste them. Participants are also invited to bring and share a rhyme that personally knocks them over. We’ll also bask in some doggerel.

Then we’ll all work in small groups with one well-known tune and a theme (drawn out of a hat) to write one or two original verses to it. We’ll arm you with rhyming dictionaries and other resources. (If you have your own rhyming dictionary, please bring it.) Once written, we may tweak the verses in the large group to get the very most meaning, beauty, “singability”, &/or playfulness out of your lyrics. If there is interest on the part of the group and the festival organizers, we may perform verses (which are certain to be flat-out-amazing!) on Saturday night.

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