The Howling Cowboy
The Unfolding Flow of Heaven's Light
For decades, writing lyrics seemed like a necessary inconvenience. I was happy as can be writing and enjoying music without them; but for lots of people, lyrics are the main focus of what they hear in music! To me, lyrics are just one more element in the overall sound.
Since I don’t sing, I’ve always been more fascinated with improving on and writing for my instruments, rather than lyrics. More than that, my natural interest and attention has always been drawn to the music first – melodies, harmonies, rhythms, tone colors – while lyrics, with their conceptual meaning, would show up for me after the fact.
It used to be I couldn’t write lyrics to save my life. But, since most people focus mostly on the singing and the lyrics, I figured I had better learn to write lyrics.
As someone who has long been aware of the importance of not feeding yourself negative mental messages, I've often had trouble singing along with songs in which I liked the music, but I cringed at the lyrics. A part of me knows I don't want to keep repeating negative thoughts or limiting ideas; I don’t want to keep putting that kind of programming into my mind, and I don’t want to train my emotions to hang out in that state.
So when I finally sat down to write some lyrics of my own, I wanted to make sure that they were something I would be OK singing along with. Actually, better than that, I would like for them to be positive ideas that I do want to install as part of my mental and emotional operating system.
The problem is, sometimes when people try to write positive lyrics, they can sound like they're part of a glee club, or a church group, or annoyingly sugary sweet, or too calculated, or preachy, or just somehow make you cringe even though they are “positive.” My challenge was to avoid anything you'd cringe at, but still make it positive and uplifting. How do you be cool with positive lyrics, when so much of humanity thinks it's cool to wallow in the negative? And do you never use negative lyrics, or are they OK if they help bring awareness to conditions normally not looked at? Well, that too is part of my challenge with writing lyrics!
I've also heard the advice "write what you know." Well sure, I can write what I know; but that doesn't mean that most people can relate to it! And yet, that doesn't mean I shouldn't write about it.
I’ve eventually started writing some lyrics that were inspired by the style of Jon Anderson (from the band “Yes”). Not quite as abstract, and obviously not as beautiful as his; but deliberately vague yet poetic, and in a more spiritual direction.
So for those of you who can relate to any of the ideas or experiences in my lyrics – these are for you. For everyone else, these lyrics offer glimpses into what it's like to walk with awareness of spirit in this Earth dimension.