Dreams of a Songwriter

A lot of songwriters have pet “theme” to their writing. Jon Bon Jovi, for example, writes about struggles of common folks. He is a rich rock star, so is he not authentic when he sings about people living paycheck to paycheck?

I believe he is. He may now be a rich man but he still identifies with the characters he sings about. Inauthentic would be if he was entirely driven by his desire to reach mass audience. “That type of material worked the last time, so let’s do that again.” But performing art is not some mass manufactured product that you can crank out. He has to show up every performance. If he wasn’t being authentic he would not have been able to do that night after night.

Bono sings about yearning. Of transformation or togetherness that is ahead of him. Dug Pinnick wants to right the wrongs. Glen Phillips tells you about where he’s fallen short and humbled. Craig Minowa of Cloud Cult tells stories about how self is both downfall and cure.

This week I caught myself writing the same exact lyric that I wrote like 10 years ago. “Release all restraints.” And I realized that it belongs in my new song. It still resonates with me.

I am a very fearful person. I fear that I am not OK. I fear that if I took myself out of my box, that I will be picked apart and proven wrong.

So removing all restraints is like a dream. What drew me to rock n roll was that these musicians seemed like punks who didn’t care what anyone thought of them. They lived big and acted dramatic in front of passionate audience. I had a man crush on Sebastian Bach. To live with reckless abandon, without caring what anybody else thinks. To live fearlessly.

I see people in boxes they put up. We are all isolated and suffocating inside but afraid to come out. Please come and find me, they cry, but it’s hard to when they have gotten so good at being invisible. So I’m wrestling with my restraints, and trying to be seen while wrestling. I’m not sure if I’ll ever live so carefree, but I’ll write songs about my dreams.

I’m hoping that they mean something for somebody, that it’ll inspire them to keep dreaming their dreams.