Snatches of Songs

There are snatches of songs that come to mind at different times. Sometimes these are situational based prompts, providing a familiar kind of comfort. At other times, the mind seems to throw up surprising references that require a bit of further reflection.

If I stay up late, for whatever reason, and feel a bit sleep-deprived the next day, one of my favourite song snatches is from Late Last Night by Todd Snider:

Well could you try to keep it down, I was up kinda late last night?
Now I’m feeling’ like I usually feel after I feel alright
I don’t want hear another word about mornin’
I can’t take the light … 
Well could you try to keep it down I was up kinda late last night?

For those moments when a big decision is required but the whole thing feels a bit overwhelming? Try Little Decisions by Paul Kelly:

Little decisions are the kind I can make 
Big resolutions are so easy to break
I don’t want to hear about your big decisions

Sometimes for no particular reason at all, Anna Begins by Counting Crows reappears as an ear worm to hum:

… kindness falls like rain
It washes her away and Anna begins to change her mind

But it isn’t only lyrics that come to mind. Sometimes it is a tune, such as Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. Or Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodwin. Just writing it out makes me start to whistle. And perhaps not tunefully. But that doesn’t matter!

I like to have musical references in my fiction sometimes too. In a flash fiction piece I managed to work in a reference to The Honeymoon is Over by The Cruel Sea which still makes me smile when I think of it.

What musical moments come to mind for you?

[Photo: servants bells at Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta]

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6 thoughts on “Snatches of Songs

  1. Anna Begins is one of my favorite songs and often comes to mind. An irritating one that I find myself humming at times is Tom’s Diner (I think it’s the Suzanne Vega version). Favorite belting-out-in-the-shower/car songs are Ella Fitzgerald (Please don’t talk about me when I’m gone) or Etta James.

    • Thanks for sharing, Michelle. It’s funny how some songs lodge themselves in your mind. I’m with you all the way with Ella – Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered or Love for Sale in particular, but anything at all in her velvet tones will make me stop and enjoy the moment!

  2. Songs come into my mind all the time as well. Often the lyrics are like captions to life. The only problem is that using them in a piece of fiction is tricky. Technically, you need permission from the copyright owner, this is not easy to obtain and usually involves some sort of payment. You can use song titles but actual lyrics are an issue.

    • Thanks, Sean – I didn’t know that. One of my favourite bloggers often uses a lyric excerpt as a title to set the tone of a post, but these are always acknowledged. And you are right too about how lyrics can be captions to life, or seem to epitomise a moment or memory. Thanks for sharing.

  3. A new idea for a writing or drawing project shows up with Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Let Em In”–Someone knocking at the door, someone ringing the bell, do me a favour, open the door, let ’em in. Makes me laugh every time, and then I get out the pencil and sketchbook and start taking notes. Love this post, and fun to know I am not the only one who hears musical cues. Cheers!

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