Lennon and McCartney songwriting

Complicated.

Wordy.

Intricate.

I had a message from a good friend this week with a link to a John Lennon song. It was a simple song lyrically and musically called Jealous Guy.

I was dreamin’ of the past
And my heart was beating fast
I began to lose control
I began to lose control
.
I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry
Oh no, I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy
.
I was feeling insecure
You might not love me anymore
I was shivering inside
I was shivering inside
.
Oh, I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry
Oh no, I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

.
Can lyrics be any simpler?

Lennon was a Beatle a few millennia ago.

You remember the Beatles, right? If you saw the movie YESTERDAY recently, maybe I could understand that you might not know the Beatles, but I’m going to assume that you’re with me here.

The Beatles wrote some of the most complex and circuitous songs but they also excelled at simple.

Simple with a huge underlying well of emotion that struck into the hearts of millions.

Though I know I’ll never lose affection • For people and things that went before • I know I’ll often stop and think about them • In my life I love you more”

in my life lyric

When I write song lyrics I have an inner urge to evade simple and pack the lines with meaning and wordy description.

But this week, I’m consciously trying… Yoda trying… to back away from my internal push to be verbose… sparse and simple is my intent and approach.

But now, as I look over my lyric verses below, I have to say, well, it’s (I’m) a work in progress. Only my chorus seems to really attain the short and simple.

The genesis of this song relates to my difficulty through life of expressing my emotions publicly. Vulnerability suppressed.

My mother died when I was 15 and it was a surprise to my family (and strangely, even me) that I shed no tears or expressed my grief in the days and years following her death.

I’m not the Iceman now, however, I still haven’t totally thawed, but then … who wants me blubbering everywhere anyway?

So here goes:

SHOWING MY TEARS

Went to the Ex when I was a kid
summer and my energy had no end
I played every day with a pile of friends
and some are gone now beside
a million shards of memory spilled to the ground
somewhere in the darkness blind
so hard to show my tears
so hard to show my fears

You settle down and the kids all come
clocks tick on, lofty dreams unfolded
it’s what we do, it’s what’s expected
til unknown fevers called late at night
I sat singing cats in the cradle while
Salt and pepper became my colour
I think it’s OK to show my tears
it must be OK to show my fears

I’ve lost much of my hair now
Found it on the edges of my ears
That’s what happens over the years
see there are stories my father never told me
and days when Leonard Cohen took his place
when wrinkles became my face and
somehow it became ok to show my tears
I know it’s OK to show my fears

CHORUS

Voices grow softer
Whispers grow louder
I’m listening cuz I want to hear
It’s OK to show my tears
That took a lot of years

tears on guitar.jpg