We’ll be having our next meeting on Tuesday, February 10th from 7:00 til 9:30 pm at The Well in Pineville, and we would love to see you!
I will be talking about the use of imagery, one of the most important aspects of songwriting. We have all heard that in songwriting we should show, not tell. One of my favorite songs is “Empty Chairs,” by Don McLean, the songwriter who gave us “American Pie” and “Vincent,” two of his better known songs. If Don McLean had told instead of shown, the verses of “Empty Chairs” might have gone,
I am lying here awake in bed thinking about you,
I can still smell your perfume on my pillow,
I miss you more at night than during the day.
But instead, because he is a master of imagery, Don’s verses showed us what he was experiencing:
I feel the trembling tingle of a sleepless night,
Creep through my fingers and the moon is bright.
Beams of blue come flickering through my window pane,
Like gypsy moths that dance around a candle flame.
Moonlight used to bathe the contours of your face,
While chestnut hair fell all around the pillow case,
And the fragrance of your flowers rests beneath my head,
A sympathy bouquet left with the love that’s dead.
Morning comes and morning goes with no regret,
But evening brings the memories I can’t forget,
Empty rooms that echo as I climb the stairs,
And empty clothes that drape and fall on empty chairs.
Wow! Don used four types of imagery in these verses – visual, auditory, olfactory and organic. In our meeting we’ll be discussing seven types of imagery and how to use them in your songwriting.
We’ll be studying the songs of other masters of imagery – Hugh Prestwood, Paul Simon, and others.
And of course we’ll be listening to each other’s songs, as always, and providing constructive feedback during the last half of our meeting. If you have a song you would like to share, please bring 20 copies of the lyric sheet.
We have a lot of fun stuff coming up, and we’ll be talking about that, too.
I and the other coordinators – Misty Simpson, Fiona McAllister and Bobby Davis – will be looking for you on Tuesday, February 10th!
The Well is at 220 Main Street, Pineville, NC 28134.