When It Gets Personal

[ To post a comment, click the blue highlighted number next to the comment bubble and date. ]


So I was up til midnight last night, writing what I think is melodically and lyrically one of my best songs ever.

So why haven’t I posted it to this blog?


It’s about someone I care about deeply. It’s about me. And I think she ought to hear it first.

Trouble is she’s an hour away.

Now, I know I could just send her an mp3 but she’s not too keen on technology and anyway, that seems pretty impersonal.

So I’m going to sit on this song,  hoping the tease will keep you coming back until I’m ready to post it.

In the meantime, expect another new song posting this week. They aren’t all destined to be Top 40 (hardly) but they should be worth a discussion and a listen.

* * *

And just so you know I’m not bluffing about the newest song, here’s something I struggle with as a songwriter: How much about myself and those I care about do I reveal?

Because songwriting may be mainly topical… I have written about the Iraq War,  a woman I knew who lived a hard life and died because of it, a fictionalized mother adopting a son… You can imbue those subjects with your own perspective and they become your interpretation.

But the best songwriting is somewhere between fiction and reality and when I can conjure both at once it can become universal and magical … so long as I feel it is something I would want the person it’s about to hear … and to feel comfortable having others hear.

Someone who is a master at this is Tracy Chapman. Go to her website and her song “Sing for You” pops up. The song is meaningful to anyone who listens, but the details are only meaningful to her. We don’t know who she wrote it for and that’s as it should be.

Privacy respected, the personal transcended.

That is what I think I’ve achieved with the new song. As soon as it’s up you can let me know if in fact I’ve accomplished it.

2 thoughts on “When It Gets Personal

  1. Carl,
    I have followed many of your new pieces, but will check out ones I’ve missed.

    All my lyrics are pretty personal really, too, but this song is special. I feel tenderly toward the friend this is about, and protective, so I am a little more cautious on this blog than I have been with other songs already posted.

    Look forward to seeing you at the Barn soon (but not in May, I can’t make it). And thanks for posting your new stuff, it’s fun to check out. (There’s new stuff here if you have time to peruse the posts.) Best —

  2. Carl Suiter

    Every song that I have written so far has been deeply personal.They have come from personal experiences both good and bad, happy and sad.
    We write about life and what we believe in. If our songs were not personal, we would not believe in them and it would be immediately obvious to the person or persons listening to the song. I write about what I know,about everyday life,love and disappointment and others can relate my experience to something in their lives.If you have a spare moment please take a look at the videos I have posted on youtube at outofthinair1 and you will see that exposing our soft underside is what songwriting is all about.
    I can’t wait to hear your new songs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s