Unusually, I got this song from a verse. I documented the writing process here:
Listening back now, I'm not sure about the verse melody. It seems a bit jaunty for the content. But, hell, it's what I've got. I like the pre-chorus and the chorus.
A key part of this was using EZKeys for the piano. EZKeys has been a revelation for me. I love writing piano but am not even an average keyboard player. EZKeys frees me from my limitations and gives me ideas, and hope. The piano is so expressive, so varied, so interested, full of possibilities. Guitar is good too, but limited to six notes the range of expression is flatter.
I wrote the song about myself. Maybe the world is too big for a man like me. I do wonder. I don't feel like I fit, like I can contribute, like it's too big, too tough, too strong. I just want to wander off by myself and not have to deal with all the stress of modern life. Like the river. Just keeps going on.
There was a quote on Maria Popova's excellent blog from Maurice Sendak about stopping to listen to a stream: https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/07/25/ruth-krauss-maurice-sendak-open-house-for-butterflies/
"Everybody should be quiet near a little stream and listen." I thought that was pretty cool and I think it inspired the song.
I want to be more like the river - if the sun don't shine/the river don't mind. Keeps his own company. Finding peace, accepting destiny.
I recorded a demo of the song and then asked my constant collaborator - Trav Bryant - to do the final vocal. I reckon Trav did a great job. He liked it, too apparently. There's only three instruments in the song - drums (by the Logic drummer), piano by EZKeys, bass by UJam Virtual Bassist (Royal). I was thinking about adding a guitar part but decided on a clean, simple arrangement.
Photo by John Westrock on Unsplash.