Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Last Goodbye - My first song in 12 years

In January of 2009 I made a resolution (something I don't do) to write music again.  Since the birth of my son Riley in September of 2007, I had begun playing guitar more and more.  As a baby Riley really enjoyed listening to me play and sing to him.  As 2009 approached and baby number two was on the horizon, I made a promise to myself to write a new song in 2009 (hopefully more than one).  In February and March I began to buy equipment in order to record my ideas and produce my songs.  My PCs were not powerful enough to use the computer software I had intended to record with, so I purchased a Tascam DP-02CF 8-Track recorder and began coming up with ideas for my first song in twelve years.  That song began to take shape in April and May of 2009.

I had written a few other diddies on the guitar, but this was the first one that began fleshing itself out to the point where I could write some lyrics.  As I put down my ideas on the Tascam recorder, one riff stood out as ready to go.  I played with the intro, the verses and then finally the chorus pieces until I was happy with the structure I had in place.  With the music done it was now time to focus on lyrics.

I know many songwriters tend to write from experience, but I must admit that I never really wrote from personal experience back in the day and the same goes for now.  That does not mean I don't use personal experience in some of my songs, but the vast majority of them are just ideas in my head at the time.  Listening to the music I had come up with, I knew the song would have to be something somber, if not sad.  With that in mind, I set out to compile some ideas.

When I write, I tend to just let the words come out.  I don't dwell on them much, and I don't try to over think things.  When I focus too hard on the "right" lyrics I am never happy with the outcome.  Instead, I prefer to just go with the flow, see what is there at the end, and make minor adjustments if needed.

As I listened to the music, the words just started flowing out of my head and on to the paper I had next to me.  I didn't go into the song thinking I would write a tune about someone saying goodbye for the last time, it is just what came out at the time.  What eventually came to be the song "Last Goodbye" is a story of a man who realizes his time has come and is preparing those that he loves for his departure from this world by letting them know how much they have meant to him and his life on Earth.  So here it is, the first complete song I wrote in twelve years.  I hope you enjoy it.

Song: Last Goodbye
Words and Music: Brian Bartholow
Album: Reflections On Life
Year: 2010

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