A song that hurts too much to finish.

4pickupguy

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This is what happens. I noodle about and hear something in a passage of chords. A melody leaps out. But the melody already has a subject embedded in it usually. The song can only be about that or it doesn’t happen or becomes an instrumental. This happened last night but this time it really hurt. I had to throw these down in a DAW for later or I’d forget/lose them. This particular one revealed itself to be about my oldest son who passed away 15 years ago at 22yo from a congenital heart defect. It floored me. The melody and first verse just appeared, instantly, together. I sat grieving for a while and knew this song simply needs to be part of the on going process. Problem is it hurts like hell to hear because it’s an emotional meat grinder. I could only record about a verse and a bridge of the idea, I never even made it to the chorus on my demo to save it. Not sure how to finish this one. Anyway, here is my demo. I feel compelled to finish it but it’s tough. If I wait too long the muse will fade and I will lose the ‘moment’ and will it won’t be complete even if I finish it. How do I complete this. I never write overtly emotional songs, what do you do? How do people do this?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yk8h8j24r92kc1b/Boy On The 8th Floor.wav?dl=0
 
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Telekarster

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This particular one revealed itself to be about my oldest son who passed away 15 years ago at 22yo from a congenital heart defect.

I'm very sorry for your loss. I had many friends back in my teens who died too early, so I can relate to your loss to some degree.

Regarding your thread - For decades I played James Taylor's Fire and Rain. In fact JT is one of the inspirations that I had to learn to play guitar to begin with, more than 30+ years ago. I have played this song acoustically, on stage in front of 100's and even a few 1000 people more times than I can remember. However, after 9/11, I have struggled finishing this song. I get about 1/2 way and then things start going south. In fact, even as I type this it's hard for me to think on it. I lost 2 good people, collegues, at the Pentagon and know others who lost family at the towers. I have broke down on stage, unable to finish the song nor the act, and have had the entire crowd in tears... not good, though they always understood. I no longer perform that song in front of an audience, even though I did for near 20 years before that terrible day. These days I only play this song by myself or only at very special, intimate, occasions with friends, but it's extremely rare for me to sing it at all.
 

Bob Womack

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For his last album, Gregg Allman covered this Jackson Browne song with his brother Duane in mind. He really was only good for about a half day or less of recording during the sessions because he was dying from liver cancer. He got emotional on the last verse and choked up during the voice session for this song and was too weak to finish the session. By the time they attempted to circle back to finish up Gregg was in questionable shape. Producer Don Was decided to leave it as it was.



Bob
 

Blue Bill

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4, so sorry about your son, what a rough thing to live with. Nice recording, and nice playing, it reminds me of Lenny a bit. I hope you keep at it and get it completed, it will be beautiful, a good tribute. Remember Clapton wrote Tears in Heaven, that must have been tough, like what you are facing. Thanks for posting.
 

Harry Styron

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Emotion is what makes music more than an exercise. Here’s a lyric I wrote after my father’s death, after a conversation with my mother. After four years, I can sing it, barely:

He Could Never Say “I Love You”

Your father wanted you to know
He really loved you
But he couldn’t say so
He was sorry he could not express
The smallest bit of tenderness
He could never say
I love you

No need, mama, to apologize
I’ll always see him through my own eyes
He held me close when I was afraid
Pulled me in when I strayed
I didn’t need to hear him say
I love you

Bridge:
There was a vein of flint in his heart of gold
But at times his voice was rough and cold
There were days you felt defeated
When he didn’t say the words you needed

I wish, dear mama, I knew what to say
To make your heartache go away
But when all is said and done
You know that I’m my father’s son
And I can only say
He loved you
 

kbold

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I feel compelled to finish it but it’s tough. If I wait too long the muse will fade and I will lose the ‘moment’ and will it won’t be complete even if I finish it. How do I complete this. I never write overtly emotional songs, what do you do? How do people do this?

I had a song loosely based around my daughter, who died 7 years ago.

I couldn't play the song without crying for any of the times I played it the first thirty or more times (when the song was new/fresh).
So .... my advice would be to play it over and over until you can play it without crying. I have no other suggestions that may help.
 

4pickupguy

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I had a song loosely based around my daughter, who died 7 years ago.

I couldn't play the song without crying for any of the times I played it the first thirty or more times (when the song was new/fresh).
So .... my advice would be to play it over and over until you can play it without crying. I have no other suggestions that may help.
So sorry for your loss. Thanks, that does help. I did work on it last night.
 

Mandocaster68

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I am sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine losing one of my children.

It sounds like this thing is in you and needs to come out. I can only offer you encouragement to pull it out and finish the song, for yourself and your son. If it takes a gallon of tears, so be it. I would imagine you have something important to say.

Here is hoping for success.
 

Deeve

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I've never written a song for my lost son.
I don't think I'm up to it; at 27 years out, it's still "too soon"
Heck, I can't get all through 50,000 Names on the Wall or Christmas in the Trenches w/o sobbing.
One that brought joyful tears - Happy Adoption Day
When I faltered, the audience helped me out w/ the chorus.

Another for your consideration:
 

Martian

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This is what happens. I noodle about and hear something in a passage of chords. A melody leaps out. But the melody already has a subject embedded in it usually. The song can only be about that or it doesn’t happen or becomes an instrumental. This happened last night but this time it really hurt. I had to throw these down in a DAW for later or I’d forget/lose them. This particular one revealed itself to be about my oldest son who passed away 15 years ago at 22yo from a congenital heart defect. It floored me. The melody and first verse just appeared, instantly, together. I sat grieving for a while and knew this song simply needs to be part of the on going process. Problem is it hurts like hell to hear because it’s an emotional meat grinder. I could only record about a verse and a bridge of the idea, I never even made it to the chorus on my demo to save it. Not sure how to finish this one. Anyway, here is my demo. I feel compelled to finish it but it’s tough. If I wait too long the muse will fade and I will lose the ‘moment’ and will it won’t be complete even if I finish it. How do I complete this. I never write overtly emotional songs, what do you do? How do people do this?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yk8h8j24r92kc1b/Boy On The 8th Floor.wav?dl=0
To the OP and others here coping with this beyond sad reality I can’t bring myself to try and imagine the pain. It’s beyond comprehension. But I think writing about it—songs, poems, anything— is a good and positive thing. If it were me I’d want to hand it off to someone, a friend, someone you trust, and let them finish it. You can put the vocal on if you choose. (And doing it with someone else in this scenario would, I think, help make singing it easier for you.) But this all about emotion and the pain of the document you’re creating.
No need to have your fingerprints on the
document. Just my opinion. Good luck to you and the others. I hope you find peace.
 

getbent

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there are several songs I cannot play for others because they make me, well, too sad and I just can't do it. I find sometimes even talking about certain things is just too hard for me. I am very fearful that if I live long enough, I'll either just not talk about things or I'll be the weepy old guy. So much beauty and so much sadness in this old world.

I am so very sorry for your loss. I nearly lost my boy to a heart defect and your post reminds me of that period and the years after. I cannot imagine.
 

4pickupguy

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All, thank you for the kind comments and support. I actually did finish this song. It is called “The Eighth Floor” referring to the cardiac floor of Children’s Hospital. It was a very painful yet healing process. Where I thought it would be all about the anguish of losing him it instead ended up being about how incredibly smart and funny he was. He won the hearts of everyone who met him.
 
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teletimetx

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For some period of time after my dad died, there were a few songs I couldn’t get through.

But it can be done. Here’s a song from a “zoom friend”, a woman I know only from songwriter zoom conferences. It’s about her mom - not sure how she does it.

 

boxocrap

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This is what happens. I noodle about and hear something in a passage of chords. A melody leaps out. But the melody already has a subject embedded in it usually. The song can only be about that or it doesn’t happen or becomes an instrumental. This happened last night but this time it really hurt. I had to throw these down in a DAW for later or I’d forget/lose them. This particular one revealed itself to be about my oldest son who passed away 15 years ago at 22yo from a congenital heart defect. It floored me. The melody and first verse just appeared, instantly, together. I sat grieving for a while and knew this song simply needs to be part of the on going process. Problem is it hurts like hell to hear because it’s an emotional meat grinder. I could only record about a verse and a bridge of the idea, I never even made it to the chorus on my demo to save it. Not sure how to finish this one. Anyway, here is my demo. I feel compelled to finish it but it’s tough. If I wait too long the muse will fade and I will lose the ‘moment’ and will it won’t be complete even if I finish it. How do I complete this. I never write overtly emotional songs, what do you do? How do people do this?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yk8h8j24r92kc1b/Boy On The 8th Floor.wav?dl=0
it sounds that maybe it's part of the healing process..and just maybe it will come out a little at a time until you smile..i suspect many of us go thru similar things until the hurt heals or we find "somehow" some kind of acceptance with it...i sympathize with you or perhaps a better word is..empathize with you..it's in a good way proof you have not turned off and are a functioning, feeling human being..may the best that life offers be with you
 

middy

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I can’t even read this thread without losing it, so I have no idea. 😂
 




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