Tuesday, November 11, 2014

on lyrics and past feelings

I don't normally share lyrics here, but I think this is a good exception. Last night, I had a song pretty much fall out of me. I was using the restroom, and a chord progression popped into my head. A vague mumbly idea of lyrics quickly followed, and within about a minute, I had the full chorus assembled. I rushed out to the living room and wrote down the chorus. I had a verse about two minutes later...then another...then a bridge...then a second bridge..all in about twenty minutes total. And they were actually pretty solid lyrics, too; when I typed them up today, I hardly had to change anything.

It was lighting quick, yes--something I wish happened more often--but that's not why I'm telling you this.

If you've read anything at all on this blog, you know that my personal failures on the job market have been a recurring issue. It's one of the reasons why I started this blog: to remind myself that, after so many failures, I still was at least a good writer. Over the years, I have reached a place where I am completely at peace with my career. Honestly, I hardly ever think about it.  The other day, though, as I was walking through the building to my car, I saw one of the 80 year old professors in his office...from back in the day when newly minted Ph.D.s were pretty much guaranteed a tenure track position by the time they graduated. Could I, I wondered, ever hope to convince him of what it's like nowadays, where the job market is a crap shoot at best?

I wasn't consciously thinking of this when I wrote the song, but nevertheless, it was obviously bouncing around in my grey matter...because the song is entirely about my failures on the job market. My favorite lines:
now the battle's long gone
and we're the bodies on the ground
ours was but to do or die
victims never make a sound
but I see no poetry
from the fodder's point of view
if I could have the romance beaten out of my head
they can sure as hell do it to you
This is, I wanna make clear, coming from a pretty good place. As I said, I rarely think about it anymore...but I think I needed this distance from those feelings to really capture them. Now hopefully they're out of me.

Let's hope this is one depressing topic I'm done writing about.

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