Squawk Radio

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

COUNTRY ELOISA SAYS 'HI DARLINGS!'

Things have got pretty crazy since that day a few weeks ago when I posted a plea for help with writing a country music song. For people who may have missed that blog, I'm on my way to Nashville this Thursday to meet a country music producer and spend the weekend developing a country song, written by moi. Then next month I'm going to New Hampshire for a weekend at a bed&breakfast to learn about starting a B&B.

Both weekends are courtesy of More Magazine, which asked me to write an article on starting a second career (being as I am just the person to take on another career *g*).

At any rate, back last Spring when I happily agreed, I thought it would be easy and fun to write a country song. Ha. Can we say hubris here? Months later, I posted a plea on Squawk for help writing a song that had just one line "You say I'm desperate and I think you may be right."


Well, a few weeks ago, the picture changed again! More emailed and said that the Today Show was interested in coming along with me and watching MY song be produced. Not only that...the Today Show is going to roadtrip right along with me to New Hampshire as well!


Since then, things are escalating in an alarming way. I'm putting up pictures here of a Nashville establishment that airs new music, especially new songs... the idea now is that if THE SONG (as if it being referred to in emails) is ready to go on Friday night, it is going to be performed live in the Bluebird Cafe! Not only that, but we have a genuine singer coming to the studio for two days to develop the song and do the singing! (They did ask me if I wanted to sing at the Bluebird....I couldn't even manage a squawk of laughter at that notion.)

So: can we count the ways to get nervous here? I do finally have a song. My first shot at it (the line quoted above) was pretty cerebral. I thought about what a country song should have in it -- pick-up trucks, love, desperation and a twang -- and I tried to write one with those things in it. My second attempt used everything I've learned from writing romance. If you don't write about something that is absolutely real and true to you -- the book (or the song) fails. I have a friend whose ovarian cancer just recurred. I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking about her. We were in Venice, and water was lapping all around me, and I started imagining saying goodbye to my children and my husband.

Yes, I am going to Nashville with a total sentimental tearjerker of a song, written in the bathroom in a Venetian hotel so I didn't wake anyone up (can we get farther away from the blue hills of Kentucky?). Here's one of my verses -- if you want to read the rest, I posted it on the BB on my website. I hasten to say that my friends on the BB have given me lots of suggestions, so I'm rewriting today and adding things like a hook and a bridge:

By next summer's sweet days,
I'll be a photo in a frame.
A memory in the night,
No more than a name.
Will they remember how I loved them?
Will you tell them for me?


It has been forcefully suggested to me that I didn't write a country song -- it's more of a folk song, or possibly just a poem (there's nothing like the Squawkers to tell it like it is!). Well, the good news is that I'm not going to Nashville with just one failed country/folk/nothing song.

The wonderful writers on my BB wrote a song together -- so I'm taking that! Plus, some incredibly talented women wrote their own songs, and I'm taking those as well! First thing on Thursday, the song producer (who is responsible for one of Reba McIntyre's number one hits!) is going to choose one of those songs for production over the weekend. I think it would be wonderful if it were the group song! So, for your musical pleasure -- TA -DA! THE GROUP SONG (various lines written by Eloisa, Terrio, Beth, Rose, Janga, PJ, Ms. Meow, NH, and Diana, with help from other friendly voices):

DESPERATE

You say I'm desperate and I think you may be right
But regrets or not, I'm going home with him tonight
I'm so sick and tired of being all alone
Crying to my girlfriends for hours on the phone.
Call me reckless, but when there's nothing left to lose, a woman will take chances to outrun the blues.

Chorus
All I've ever wanted is a man of my own...
To wine and dine and dance with,
Reach out to every morning
Day by day build a home

He came to me this evening, like lightning on the bay
With a smile like the sunrise of a brand new day
You say I'm desperate and I think you may be right
But regrets or not, I'm going home with him tonight

Chorus
All I've ever wanted is a man of my own...
To wine and dine and dance with,
Reach out to every morning
Day by day build a home

I feel like a sinner
I need to fall on my knees, fall down now and pray
But not tonight, cause tonight I'm gonna play
Though I am a gambler Lady Luck has never loved
Something in his sunrise eyes
Says tonight I may have luck I’m gonna play
And just hope come morning, he's here to stay

BRIDGE

Morning comes…mmm I reach across the bed
All these thoughts runnin' through my head
Will he look as good in morning's light
As he did last night in my bar hazed sight?!?
My sheets will be rumpled and I won't know his name.
My hand’ll touch his cold pillow and I’ll know it turned out the same.
You say I'm desperate and I think you may be right
But… For tonight I'll tell my conscience to go home.
For tonight I'll forget my fear of love and try it
For tonight, I'll stop crying all alone
Tonight I'll find a cowboy of my own.
You say I'm desperate and I think you may be right
But regrets or not, I'm going home with him tonight

Chorus
All I've ever wanted is a man of my own...
To wine and dine and dance with,
Reach out to every morning
Day by day build a home

You say I'm desperate and I think you may be right
But regrets or not, I'm going home with him tonight

It's a wonderful song! To be honest, I'm totally freaked by the idea of a Today Show crew following me around Nashville, and then around New Hampshire -- and then there's going to be a live segment on the show itself in January or February! But I would be even sicker to the stomach about my lack of song-writing credentials...except I don't have to be. I don't know how to say this as strongly as I feel it: my life is so much richer for the community of friends who have grown around Squawk and around my BB: friends who have come together and given me a song so that I don't have to go to Nashville with nothing more than a weepy little poem masquerading as a song.

The older I get the more I realize that life would be incredibly difficult without my girlfriends -- whether they're friends through the internet, or my university, or my writing life.

Let's have a celebration of girlfriends! When's a time that your particular posse saved your life -- did a group intervention to keep you away from the wrong guy, or wrote you a song to go on TV with, or....
Eloisa James, 7:25 AM
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