Another songwriting post. This month’s calendar prompt was to write about what you’d do if you were rich and famous. Me and my husband are constantly joking about the ridiculous things we would do if we were despots, much of which involves hiring other artist to do stuff for us. Lately I’ve been trying to remember to run an experiment in which I vacuum every day to see if that has any effect on the amount of very long hair that gets attached to, well, everything, but I keep forgetting to do it. A day or two before I got the new prompt, my husband suggested that the best way to remember to vacuum would be to hire actors to come and mime vacuuming, and then I’d see them, and remember to do it! So with that fresh in my mind, it wasn’t too hard to remember other things we’d thought of, (like a string quartet alarm clock) and of course new silly notions came along.
You can hear the song HERE
I’m not sure how, but I decided the best way to present it was in the form of an interview, and my first line came pretty quick. I’m not sure if anyone still reads Rolling Stone magazine, but it rolls of the singing tongue a lot easier than pitchfork, and I’m guessing it’s a famous enough magazine that people will know what I mean.
I came up with my little repetitive A7 riff right off the bat and wrote lyrics around it. Most of the lyrics came in one sitting, but there was a fair bit of revision. I thought about including a verse in which I try to gloss over the no doubt dubious and likely reprehensible way in which I made so much money, but in the end decided I would suggest I made this money harmlessly writing songs. In the beginning, my rich person lair was underground, but by the time I got to the last verse of the song, I realized imaginary me needed to live on an island.
I also wanted to work a comedian into my roster of artists that I patronize, and I wanted my own public transit infrastructure. I was going to have a comedian follow me around to narrate my life, but once I replaced the train with a boatman, I knew I needed a Greek chorus instead. That had the added benefit of giving my protagonist an unusual moral compass.
After coming up with a ghost of a chord progression and melody I left it for a week as I was working on some other songs. When I came back to it a week later I settled on the structure and worked out the rest of the chord progression. It took a few days of tinkering to get the rhythm of the lyrics and that of the picking pattern to work together, and that did lead to some minor revisions of the words. My habit of sitting down after the fact to finish lyrics also lead to the rhythm of the opening lines changing a bit on some of the verses. This was a case of just playing it a bunch of times and letting it sort of work itself out.