June is the month of weddings and graduations. These mileposts in life's journey often cause the songwriters' antennae to tingle with inspiration.
Many of the students I've taught over the years are graduating this week. Since 2002, when I released the "High School My School" CD, I've noticed an increase in the number of plays and downloads of my graduation song, "Shine On". It has found its way onto several playlists. This song is unusual in that it has a mixed meter chorus, alternating 4/4 and 6/4 measures. In addition, the verses are antiphonal, with different sets of voices singing overlapping independent lines on the left and right sides of the stereo space.
In always trying to use perfect rhyme while avoiding the trite and overused pairs, the bridge of "Shine On" has a rhyme that folks have noted as one of the most memorable:
"The light of one light it seems never shall exceed
The light of one sun,
But each star joins hands with a neighbor to make a galaxy"
Amidst all the graduations, today is also the 13th anniversary of my first date with my wife Kay. Appropriately, that date revolved around an appearance I was making as a Connecticut State Troubadour, singing a song I was commissioned to write for a historical dedication. An Italian dinner followed, and a wedding three years later.
Over the last decade, I have written a large collection of songs inspired by love, which is perhaps the most powerful of all songwriting inspirations. The universality of love as a source of inspiration makes it extremely difficult to write a love song that isn't the same as the million others springing from the similar feelings and experiences of a million other people. There are more songs about love than about anything else, all sincere, but not always particularly memorable.
The song I wrote for Kay on our wedding day was based on a metaphor and semantic field of life being a meal served in a restaurant, where one sits at a table for two, with one chair empty, until the right person comes to join you.
Called "Life's Café (Table for Two)" it is one of my more complex melodic/harmonic songs, though rendered simply with just voice/guitar. It will appear on the CD "Let Me Count the Ways", which is currently being recorded.
©2009 Bill Pere. All Rights Reserved.