Writing today

My title ‘Writing Today’ sounds as if it’s going to be a serious paper on the current state of writing in the world… but it’s not. It’s just going to be the plans I’ve made for my creative writing group this afternoon.

I’m going to suggest we think about inspiration and where we can find some if our minds are blank – I have to say that doesn’t often happen to me, my minds always totally haywire with all the different thoughts and ideas randomly buzzing there! People write in different ways, for different reasons and I guess for most people it’s a hobby like any other hobby which has its place and time. Writing for me is my way of life!

Today I’m going to get us thinking about lyrics to songs we know – I’ve been inspired by many lyrics, sometimes just a phrase or a couple of words, but in the traditional folk songs most of us sang when we were at school there are some wonderful stories – or scenes and settings in which a story could be set. I think it’s such a shame that in order to be relevant (puh! That’s a whole other topic I could go on about – the present educational policies and philosophy!) – that in order to be supposedly relevant much traditional music, stories, poetry has been abandoned… but that too is for another time.

So today I’m going to suggest we think about song lyrics and how we could use them. I’ve written out the words of a few famous songs which we can talk about and I hope it will prompt us to think of other songs. I’m not suggesting they write the story of the song, although they can if they want, it could just be a phrase or a couple of lines which trigger some ideas.

These are the songs I’ve picked out, it will be interesting which others are thought of as we chat this afternoon:

  • The gypsy rover
  • Heart of Oak
  • Scarborough Fair
  • Wraggle Taggle Gypsies
  • Bobby Shafto
  • Greensleeves
  • Early one morning
  • Molly Malone
  • When the boat comes in
  • Barbara Allen

I’m also going to share the lyric of another song, by the Mavericks, of course, my favourite band, which has a most subtle word choice in order to change the whole feel of the song. It’s called ‘In Another’s Arms’ and its a romantic song which would have been very different with a single word change – if it had been ‘In Each Other’s Arms’ it would have been happy not tragic. I wrote about this song here:


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