The Greatest Song I Never Wrote

The other night we were working on a song that I never sat down and wrote.  I never penned it to paper and we played it as a band for 3 years before we hardly had a conversation about an arrangement.  This week we tracked it in the studio and it’s the only song we didn’t really even tweak at all.  It’s just something we sort of played and eventually became a song.  I love it when a song writes itself.

I’ve heard that many of the famous folk songs of history were actually written similarly, but over the decades by the various people.  Each encountered the melody or a lyric in passing on some long forgotten walk, or in the chaos of some random street corner.  People who worked the fields or drove cattle would hum melodies to pass the the time and others would take them and make them their own.  I love the idea of the song being bigger than the writer.  I like to think of a song as a conversation that you could have with thousands of people you will never meet, even folks who exist years and worlds apart.

You never know how far a good song might walk.  You could be writing ideas and themes that could be shaping the way people think a hundred years from now.  Your melodies might travel into the future without you, knocking on the door of your children’s children.  You might be singing into the future…. just a thought. No Big Deal.

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11 comments
  1. terrence said:

    “You never know how far a good song might walk…”I love this line,as well as the rest of what you have written. It reminds me that a lot of great songs write themselves.It also takes off some of the pressure for songwriters.Maybe that one line we keep hearing that we can’t seem to grasp and turn into a standard “a-b-a-c”format is really a wandering song that will be completed by someone else.Maybe when we feel empty of ideas,we really need to be preparing for some travelling melody that has been on a journey.It would have picked up parts of the stories of others,and when this song is written and sung,a lot of people will recognize it.In these last moments of Advent,I’m expecting a Savior and a song.

  2. Dionicio said:

    Awesome!

  3. Lindsay said:

    It’s definitely a cool thought.

  4. tjmiller said:

    Funny, I thought I didn’t write that song.

  5. Ralph W said:

    I always thought that maybe Walt Disney sort of tapped into some of this… It’s from heaven. But instead of through a song arrangement he would arrange it with drawings/animation. All those old classic cartoons we’d watch as kids would have parts where they went into singing and conversation singing with each other.

  6. I too love the fact that art is bigger than the person who created it. It reaches into hearts in ways the artist never imagined possible.

  7. marsha pereira said:

    how can I find this song to listen to it????

  8. Luke W. said:

    I love this post!
    I love the part about the song being something bigger than the writer but that it can be a conversation between the writer and thousands of listeners.
    That’s what makes good music, when it connects and becomes a conversation of sorts with listeners. That’s what your music has done and is doing!

  9. Danya Moore said:

    That’s what’s up. Beautiful thoughts, man.

    I’ve also had songs write themselves. The interesting thing is later on I looked back and saw how they perfectly narrated events in my life and heart before I ever knew they were coming. Like some strange prophecy poured out my soul. Sometimes I think our Spirit knows things our brain can just never grasp.

  10. Rachel said:

    Woah, inspiration! Thank you:)

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