Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm a Lyrical Gangsta

When I was much, much younger, I spent a lot of time writing poetry and songs--lots of really sappy love songs about falling in love with Prince Charming and such.  Very Taylorswiftian.  In fact, I wrote a song and sang it in my high school talent show (you could probably find a really embarrassing VHS tape of the performance in a closet at Edmond Santa Fe High School) and was then voted "Best Singer" of the senior class, which is a pretty lame category if you ask me (especially for Yale Scott, my male counterpart who should have been voted most likely to rock at life or something like that).  Anyway, I fancied myself a songwriter.

I don't know why I stopped writing songs--maybe because I grew into the cynical realist I am today, leaving the romantic idealist in my dust.  A few months ago, my friend, Derrick, messaged me on Facebook asking if I ever write poetry or songs. I told him that I didn't, but I could try.  Derrick and I met in college when we were part of the same Life Group--a college/singles Bible study group that met at our mutual friend, Lori's, house.  Until the last few months, I hadn't seen Derrick since we were in college--so somewhere around seven years.

I am so grateful to him for asking me to write for him.  Sometimes I write the lyrics and hum to him over the phone.  Sometimes he has music that is just waiting for words.  It's one of the best things in my life right now.  A million years ago (when I was romantic), I always thought I wanted a boy to write a song for and about me.  But, what I've realized over time is that what I really wanted was to write my own songs and have a boy put them to music.  This is much better.

So, here's a video of one of the songs we wrote.  FYI, ladies, Derrick is SINGLE!  SINGLE!  SINGLE!  (And I can vouch for the fact that he is nice and handsome and all those good things.)  If I can convince Derrick to send me more videos, I'll post more later.  I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed creating.

The Only Thing
No matter how I want you, you’re not really mine
You travel in and out of my life when you have the time
My thoughts in the morning, my desire late at night
So, so very wrong, so wrong that you’re right
And I can’t sleep
No, I can’t sleep
When everything else has got my head in the clouds and my back’s against a wall
You are the only thing that makes any sense at all
You’re the only thing I have to hold onto when I fall
You are the only thing that makes any sense at all
Two hours ago I felt the warmth of every heartbeat
The smell of your skin is wrapped up in these cold sheets
So, come back, please come back, come back to my bed
Help me quiet these thoughts in my head
Cause I can’t sleep
No, I can’t sleep
No matter how I want you, you’re not really mine


  1. Great song! I used to write poetry and song lyrics when I was younger too, but I always thought they were stupid, so I trashed them. For some reason, I am able to appreciate others' emotional expression through words, but not my own.

    I have written music for performances, though (3 Shakespearean plays, and one Greek tragedy). But it has always been because someone asked me to. I don't know why it is easier to write music - probably because it seems less personal than words.

    I admire the bravery of anyone who can put words out into the world for everyone to see.

  2. Thanks, Ariel. Most of what I write is obviously non-fiction, so it's nice to explore a made-up world every now and then through song. I have absolutely no idea how to write music--I mean, other than humming the tune, so I really admire people who have that ability. I remember watching you sing and thinking--that girl's going somewhere! I think I even told your mom that one time. =)

  3. OK, so I'm really starting to hate how you're so friggin' good at everything you do! I'm going to have to make you try to drive stick to make myself feel better.

    In all seriousness: very nice work, lady.

  4. J, I will be happy to give you a list of all the things I can not do well. Starting with driving a stick. I had to drive some people home one time in high school because I was the only sober person, and I drove 25 mph the whole way because I was afraid to go any faster. Thank you for your kind words. Expect an album out in early 2012.

  5. Thanks, E. Glad you're back, too. You've turned into an old married woman. I hardly know you anymore.

  6. that's because I'm back in school and stupid work...quietly stalking your blog. ;)