If heartaches was commercials, we’d all be on TV.
Bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down… and won.
The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go out and do the best you can.
I guess if you keep making the same mistake long enough, it becomes your style.
Writing is about a blank piece of paper and leaving out what’s not supposed to be there.
Bewildered, bewildered, you have no complaint. You are what you are, and you ain’t what you ain’t.
You can fool some of the people part of the time in a rock and roll song, fifty million Elvis Presley fans can’t be all wrong.
Blow up your TV…throw away your paper…move to the country and build you a home. Plant a little garden…eat a lot of peaches…try and find Jesus on your own.
Broken hearts and dirty windows
Make life difficult to see
That’s why last night and this morning
Always look the same to me”
The best way to write a song is to think of something else and then the song kind of creeps in. The beginning makes no sense whatsoever. It just, like, rhymes. And then all of a sudden I’ll go into, I am an old woman named after my mother.
I always knew Gordon Lightfoot was a really great songwriter, but his stuff even sounds better and better all the time. It’s just so really good to me. It’s just like that’s what should be in a dictionary, you know, next to a really good contempory folk song, is a Gordon Lightfoot song.
Some of the songs come so fully, it’s like they are pre-packaged. There have been a couple that came in the middle of the night. And I thought, jeez, I’ll never forget that. And went back to sleep, and it was gone. You’ll hear something years later that another songwriter that you respect writes, and you go, jeez, I think that was the remnants of that song that got sent to me.
I think the more the listener can contribute to the song, the better; the more they become part of the song, and they fill in the blanks. Rather than tell them everything, you save your details for things that exist. Like what color the ashtray is. How far away the doorway was. So when you’re talking about intangible things like emotions, the listener can fill in the blanks and you just draw the foundation.
I just tried to come up with some honest songs. What I was writing about was real plain stuff that I wasn’t sure was going to be interesting to other people. But I guess it was…I’ve never had any discipline whatsoever. I just wait on a song like I was waiting for lightning to strike. And eventually-usually sometime around 3 in the morning-I’ll have a good idea. By the time the sun comes up, hopefully, I’ll have a decent song.
I edit as I go. Especially when I go to commit it to paper. I prefer a typewriter even to a computer. I don’t like it. There’s no noise on the computer. I like a typewriter because I am such a slow typist. I edit as I am committing it to paper. I like to see the words before me and I go, “Yeah, that’s it.” They appear before me and they fit. I don’t usually take large parts out. If I get stuck early in a song, I take it as a sign that I might be writing the chorus and don’t know it. Sometimes,you gotta step back a little bit and take a look at what you’re doing.