As the writer, you’re always a presence in the song. If you get close to what human beings are like, you’re writing about common experience. We all do much the same things, so if you nail somebody, then you’ve also nailed yourself.
Sometimes I’ll get to the end of a song, open my eyes and there’s all these faces peering at me. It’s quite horrifying.
Unfortunately, most of the songs that I write I don’t write them with guitar in mind. I just write it as a song and that was probably one of the ones that left an opening for it. The song’s all right, I wouldn’t choose to sing it now.
You can fill this table up with people who are racist, homophobic, Satanist worshippers, sexist and we can be arguing but if you put on a song, I guarantee that people will stop and listen and that’s what I love about music, it can bring people together.
Being a good songwriter means paying attention and sticking your hand out the window to catch the song on the way to someone else’s house!
Morrissey wrote to me and said, I have a song for you and if we release it as a single, you’ll be on the charts for the first time since 1972, I said, what time, where?
I’m sure there’s going to be some material from This Is Not Going To Be Pretty. I usually use that song to just introduce myself to the audience, although the patter in between the song is always different.
The real danger of writing a great song when you’re on something is that it might get you thinking that the only way to repeat that is by only writing when you’re high.
Presented with a song like Exit Music, It’s impossible to know what to add without actually making it worse. How can you play along when It’s already there?
We sing a little song before we eat, a little blessing before we eat, and it’s really – we’re thanking the Lord and the Earth for the food that we eat, and it really brings you together in a profound kind of way.
At the close of the day when the hamlet is still, and mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove, when naught but the torrent is heard on the hill, and naught but the nightingale’s song in the grove.
He saw us play a few times in fact. I did this song called I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes, and Jimi loved it. He paid me a huge compliment when he told me that he was thinking of doing something similar himself!
‘Tis easy enough to be pleasant, When life flows along like a song; But the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong.
We march and fight, to death or on to victory. Our might is right, no traitors shall prevail. Our hearts are steeled against the fiery gates of hell. No shot or shell, can still our mighty song.
Almost every band has somebody who’s the main songwriter and who has a vision, a very clear idea of how a song should be.
Sometimes I’ll sing the same verse through the entire song, because the other verses aren’t clicking. And when they do come to me, I’m in the middle of that same verse!
He’s written some great songs. I thought that “Blues Man” was a perfect song for me to do as a tribute.
As I’ve gone along, I felt like I was discovering an aspect of my voice that I didn’t know was there: an ability to interpret a song in a way that makes it more accessible.
I think Bridge Over Troubled Water was a very good song. Artie sang it beautifully. The Boxer was a really nice record. But I don’t think I’ve written any great songs.
But there’s actually a lot of punk bands out there that go out of the norm, use odd time signatures, or a lot of different tempo changes in a song.
Not every song I write is ecstasy. And it can happen only one time. After that, when you sing the same melody and words, it’s pleasure, but you don’t get wiped out.
That’s what I find with any good song, you just have to let it happen. Out of about twenty songs you might write, one of any significance. It might be thirty or forty, but I just keep churning them out and churning them out in hope that one of them will stick.
Since I have been singing for so many years, I don’t always need to approach a song quite so laboriously and meticulously.
You know, a song is like a kid. You bring it up. And sometimes something you thought was going to be fantastic, by the time it’s finished, is a bit of a disappointment.
You can keep rummaging around until you find a song you like, but you can’t predict whether it’ll hit or not.
They were so good that you just had to sing the song to them once and they got it. It’s amazing. Sometimes it didn’t come out the way you wanted, but it was good.
I would have to work on the song and figure out how they wanted the song done, because they’re such high-intensity songs. We figure that out first, then I go back and listen to it and go over and rehearse stuff with it and try to get a feel for the words.
I didn’t say I wasn’t gonna do rockabilly. I just said I ain’t gonna sing no song that ain’t a country song. I won’t be known as anything but a country singer.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a song that can be taken more then one way, so it can be interpreted differently.
There’s two facets to writing a song. There’s you sitting in your room writing the sentiments of the song; the lyrics, the melody and the changes, and then there’s the part where you go into the studio and you put clothing on it.
In the past 3-4 years I’ve developed a habit of keeping numerous small cassette recorders in my house and in a bag with me so that I’m able to commit to tape memory song ideas on a constant basis.
The little song and dance number at the end – that’s me, my voice, howling out. It was a new experience for me. I’ve never sung before and I’ve certainly never sung on screen. I think I sung on stage when I was 13 and for some reason nobody’s asked me to try it again since.
I don’t ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful.
I feel safe and comfortable to do that once I know that the song structure around the bass part is very interesting and it satisfies me in a compositional sense.
The song Dakota was first written in Paris. I was doing a promo trip. It was snowing and the hotel room was really cold and boring and for some reason I just had a go of the guitar and the song came pretty quick.