It was 2004 when I was first given the opportunity to write songs for TV shows here in the US. Until this season I had been unaware of having such a narrow filter through which I viewed the world, the market place and or my purpose, my gifts and skills.
I had written songs for other singers and performers. I had enjoyed quite a bit of success with my own albums and, in a general sense, felt comfortable in my skin as a working singer-songwriter. For the most part however, my songs carried themes that were of a similar nature.
All of a sudden, I had broken free. I was learning to run and then gallop in wide open pastures. A new world had dawned and I was soon writing songs and stories both to and about, people outside my small universe.
This song Man Child was a bi-product of that season. A younger Chris would have been afraid perhaps to write such an unusual song, with no real hook or ‘sing-along’ moment. But oh how much fun I had penning lines like:
Say something silly, something absurd
Make up a riddle, one that no one’s heard
Let it be nonsense, with no reason or rhyme
And soon there’ll be laughter and wasting of time
I don’t think I am alone when I say that… I am at my best when I see through the lens of a curious child.
The curious child is fearless to say things that Adult Chris might deem inappropriate:
What would people think of me if I aired these thoughts in public?
Most days this curious child is alive and well and writing songs and telling stories that my adult self could never do.
This child also thinks it’s funny to create silly and colorful cover-artwork. My adult self says ‘put the paint brushes away before anyone sees what a fool you are.’
The kid says… throw paint on the walls.
What’s amazing to me is, the positive feedback I receive from fine artists, some of whom make their living creating art. We all know I won’t be putting them out of business anytime soon, but they celebrate that I am having fun and that I am diving into the deep end… the same way that I encourage everyone to sing… or write songs.
Why not? Life is too short to wait around for someone responsible to give us permission.
The Man Child song is streaming up on Bandcamp and will soon be on Spotify and iTunes and the like. But you can also get the skinny on why I wrote it and to whom, if you listen to the Man Child podcast; the first of a weekly series on songs, the writing process and the life and times of a curious child making a living in one of the craziest towns in the world.
And if you do fancy yourself as the next James Taylor or Joni Mitchell, drop by my online songwriting site for some free lessons. All you have to do is subscribe.