In my Nov. 2 post, Secrets Revealed!, I shared the story of how I came to write a little ditty called “Home Alone.” Today, I’d like to talk about another song I’ve written for my new songwriting club.
Our prompt for this song was “inspiration.” We were supposed to try and write songs having to do with a quote that means something to us. I bent the rules a bit and used the title of one of my photos for inspiration. Here’s the photo, which also can be seen in my Nov. 1 post:
The stillness and vulnerability of the trees, and the way they seemed to be listening to and supporting each other, made me want to write something quiet and reflective to support them, something that would say “I hear you.” I grabbed my guitar and played one of my favorite chords, A-major-seventh (Amaj7). Here’s a photo of an Amaj7 chord that I found online. It’s one of the easier chords to make!
Major chords, or major triads, are often described as happy. The notes are bright and positive-sounding. Minor chords can be described as sad. The second note of the triad (third note of the scale) is dropped by a half-step (one fret on the guitar). For some reason, this brings out sad emotions. But major SEVENTH chords are really different. They add an unexpected fourth note – a half-step below the octave – and the result is a little bit dissonant and melancholy, but at the same time warm, sweet, and hopeful. At least that’s how I hear major seventh chords.
After I played that Amaj7 on the guitar, my hands drifted up the neck a bit and sort of accidentally landed on the strings in places that, when strummed, sounded good to my ear. Turns out it was a chord called Cadd9. (I had to look it up.)
My new song, “Listen to the Trees,” ended up with ten different chords altogether, and it all started with that Amaj7. It has a bossa nova beat which makes me think of the great Brazilian jazz composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, who used a lot of major seventh chords in his own songs.
Here are the lyrics to my song:
LISTEN TO THE TREES Whispers in the forest, carried on a breeze hear the quiet chorus of the trees branches are bending, roots move underground messages that barely make a sound. Telling their troubles, each in their own way helping each other through the day around them only silence, actions too few – and the trees, they know this is true. Take the time to listen, listen to the trees know what they are saying, get down on our knees tell them we hear them, do what they need and give a word of thanks to the trees. Inhale the essence of treasures we can lose be mindful of the things we choose learn nature’s lessons from branches above wrap our arms around the ones we love.
I’ll try to record it and post a link, if I can remember how to use Garage Band. That could take me until next November, though!
Have you ever written a song, poem, or story about trees? Post a link in the comments below if you have!
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This is post #5 of the month-long challenge known as #NaBloPoMo or #NanoPoblano. To follow my blog, please click below where it says “Follow loristory.”
And, to read more of the NanoPoblano posts written by the supportive blogging group “Cheer Peppers,” click the image below.
Featured image at top of post by Gordon Johnson at pixabay.com