A great song is like a message in a bottle showing up on your doorstep and ringing the bell. It sounds off and gets you out of your chair and brings you to the doorway of surprise. It’s written specifically and only to you, and somehow it’s finally found you.
When particular tunes have come this way—unexpected, like a hitchhiker on a desolate road or echoes in a barren desert—they’ve prompted me to create. To figure out how to use them, even in temporary ways. I’m selfish that way, making it only and always about me. The spark is lit and all I want to do is find my latest batch of fireworks to show off to others.
When these songs come by my side, they’re sympathizing with my plight and summing up the feelings I can’t say. And God knows I can’t sing them. But I dream I can, and I long to shout them out and hum along with the singer. Often I do, in the confines of my car with the windows mercifully shut.
A storyteller has a million ways to tell their tale, and a filmmaker has even more weapons at their disposal. But a musician is so limited, so suppressed in what they can create. So when the familiar becomes fresh and original, it seems like a treasure suddenly found, and you bury it deep inside your heart. A beautiful song tells its own tale because it’s speaking about you.