This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction
If you listen to as many songs as I do you’ve probably listened to the stories they tell. The trick is to tell a story in 3 1/2 minutes or less, although established artists can get away with much longer songs. Some songs don’t tell a story but contain a line that gives a message. For instance “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” makes you light up when you hear it but doesn’t tell a story like a book.
I’ve written and copywritten at least five hundred or more songs. Some I didn’t like but figured I could come back later and work on, and some I’m proud of. Today I’m sharing with you a song I wrote in Mexico. I made several trips to Tucson by bus or car so am familiar with the city. When the words came to mind I set this story song in Tucson. When I write songs I pick up my guitar, start playing and it’s then the magic happens. My mind starts with something I’ve seen, heard or read. The music and words always come together when I compose but many people don’t write that way. It’s a lot like writing books but in this case it has to be as much of a story as you can tell in a very short time.
Today I’d like to share with you “Painted Angel” a song I’ve sung on stage many times and a favorite of my audiences. Unfortunately, a year ago, after my concussion, I got really hoarse and can no longer sing. I’ve been to doctors and am going in for a scope next week. It hurts not to sing because it’s always been a passion and I’ve sung since I was very little (with my father). However, I am lucky to have songs I’ve written, published or not, and I am learning to deal with the loss of my voice. It’s all up to God. I’ve used my voice for His glory in church all my life and if this is something I must bear, so be it.
This time I actually have the song to share with you, but the only recording I can find is pretty basic, so it’s definitely not professional. But you’ll get the idea.
I almost always write story songs because I enjoy making the characters and settings tell a tale. I hope you enjoy it too.
Nothin’ could hold her down
Packed her bags goodbye mom and dad
Kicked the dust out of that town
Ran out of money in Tucson
Things weren’t ain’t been goin’ too well
Instead of the heaven she was dreamin’ about
She’s been out there goin’ through hell
Underneath a desert sky
If she don’t get home she’ll be
A painted angel ‘til she dies
Writes home to her sister
Her faded tears between the lines
Erase the hungry sleepless nights
Nothin’ left of her pride
It ain’t worth much these
Sleepin’ in a cardboard shelter
With a bottle of cheap rosé
When at last she closes her eyes
The boy she thought she’d
And the wedding she fantasized
She don’t care about tomorrow
Yesterday’s scattered on the ground
She’d be on the next Greyhound
Here’s the link to the song. Hope you enjoy it!
All photos courtesy of Morguefiles.com
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