For Every Song There is a Story

…And For Every Story There is a Song

More and more I’ve been pulling my former theatrical pursuits into my blog posts. Music was my first creative love and driving force.  As a young, awkward, socially shy child, music had been my escape.  I came into my own through music and musical expression.   I know many writers create playlists for inspiration by project and then listen to that music while weaving their stories.  I cannot.  Music, REALLY good music, pulls me in and becomes a distraction from my own work.  I’ve gotten past my college days where I used to analyze the structure, choral progression, etc.  Now it’s the lure of the story within the song that takes me to another place, just like a really good book. 

I’m a musical snob.  This does not mean I have the best musical taste; it just means I know what I like. Whether that comes from years of training or just what my ear likes to hear, I’m not sure.  For me, there are three key components a song must possess in perfect balance to hold me captive.

1)      A great story

2)      Appropriate musical accompaniment, tempo 

3)      Commanding Vocal Expression

A song that has saturated (and hopefully won’t OVER saturate) the airwaves is Bruno Mars’, WHEN I WAS YOUR MAN.  For me, this is an example of a perfect blend of vocal musical expression and storytelling.  

The song itself, the lyrics, tell a story of love lost and lesson learned.  The sparse musical accompaniment sets the stage, tells the listener the singer is prepared to bare his soul.  Then comes THE VOICE.  The voice reveals the emotion.  Bruno is so connected to this material that the first time I heard the song, I felt as if I’d just walked in on a private moment, needed to excuse myself, give him the time he needed to grieve.  The heart of the song, for this listener, is when he’s talking about hearing her name or haunted by the past…IT ALL JUST SOUNDS LIKE….OOO….OOO….OOO….OOO.  And that is it, right there, the moment when he can’t even form a word to express his anguish.  Goosebumps appeared on my flesh.  I connected with the song and knew I’d never let go, knew I’d eventually get around to writing this blog post in-between edit deadlines.  The song reminded me, like a touchstone, of my history in artistic expression.

As a singer/actor I was taught the song, the desire to sing, came when the character could no longer communicate in mere words.  The moment called for something much greater.  OOO….OOO….OOO….OOO.  THAT is what I strive for in my writing; the moment when the reader becomes swept away alongside characters whom are standing on an empty stage, sparse accompaniment, baring their souls, telling their story. 

With so many mediums of creativity and artistic expression, there are a million reasons why writers write, why painters paint, etc.  For me, when I stopped singing professionally, I turned to another medium.  Because when the music stopped OOO….OOO….OOO….OOO still lived inside and needed a creative outlet. 

I’m curious to hear from my fellow writers and artistic friends.  What forms of creative expression inspire you to write, act, paint, sing?  I also wonder, among my friends in other circles, what forms of artistic expression lurks within in need of a voice?  What mediums of creativity speak to your soul and inspire you?

About RoseAnn DeFranco

Author - Humorous Contemporary Romance & Young Adult Romance
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8 Responses to For Every Song There is a Story

  1. I’ve always been more of a music person myself, never really read fiction to pass the time, it was always music for me…I still consider myself the “accidental writer” btw…one think I can’t do though, is listen to music while I write…I do between writing paragraphs however…


    • RoseAnn DeFranco says:

      I find it very interesting to see how others writers use or don’t use music in their writing. Music is my constant form on inspiration, but I’ve never been able to listen to it and write at the same time.

      Thanks for stopping by, Alan!

  2. Joanna Shupe says:

    Good question, RoseAnn. I get inspired by good books, actually. Much more so than music. Granted, my music tends to run toward the low-brow end of the scale. So maybe that has something to do with it. 🙂

    • RoseAnn DeFranco says:

      I guess it does depend on what you’re listening to. I wish that my reading tendencies lended to the research/inspiration aspects of writing. The hubs and daughter are constantly watching the history channel, discovery, etc. The information they absorb that way is amazing. I’ve been thinking that I need to invest time in documentaries and thie history channel for inspiration. So far, it mainly comes from music.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


  3. Jenna Blue says:

    R.A., I am one who can listen to music solely as background noise–tuning it out entirely when the words on the page speak louder to me than anything else. It turns out I don’t listen very well in general. Even with audio books, my mind wanders and I have to rewind! I love music when I’m doing something active though, whether that’s exercising or vacumming or doing dishes, and we all know how it can set the mood for a social occaision. That’s so cool that music can touch you that much, and interesting to hear more of your history! Great post!

    • RoseAnn DeFranco says:

      Hi Jenna! I’m right there with you when it comes to audio books. Not only do I find myself at the wrong destination at times (if I’m listening while driving) but I find that my mind wanders off and starts writing a different book than the one I’m listening to! Love that you surround yourself with music while doing your daily chores. Whistle while you work!

  4. Hi RoseAnn. When I was a teenager, I used to write poems to vent out my frustration. I read mostly because I enjoy it but also because it’s a form of escape. For that brief period of time, I can be in someone else’s world and deal with their problems. It’s like that for me with writing. I can go into my own world and dream. Through my writing, I can right wrongs and make happily-ever-after come to life. Through my writing, I can be whatever I want to be. There are no limits.

    • RoseAnn DeFranco says:

      LOVE this reply, Maria. I am so there with you. In my Aububon Springs series my heroines are a successful childrens book author, a book store owner and a singer/songwriter turned college theatre professor. All career paths I would have loved to take in a heartbeat. We can escapte and live our various dreams through our characters/stories.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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