• bethmiles7

I Wrote a Song: "I Still See It"

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

I wrote a song last week. It came about after I heard something a character said in a series I was watching; “I remember how it was before it went bad” (or something of that sort). I paused the programme, grabbed my guitar and a pen and started writing.

When writing a song from someone else’s perspective I find it helps to put yourself in the character’s shoes. As simple as that may sound, trying to capture a moment or an event that you’ve never experienced, and that no one can describe or explain to you, I find, is really tricky most times. For this song I had to create a whole story-line and plot including parts that weren’t mentioned in the song so I could get a better understanding of the characters and why they behave and react in certain ways.

The story I had plotted out in my head was of a couple that fell apart gradually over time and the song is the aftermath; the character I created is trying to reach out to their ex who sees their phone light up in the middle of the night but can’t bring themselves to answer the phone so they let it ring until it goes to voicemail. And that’s what the song is – the voicemail.

//Hey, I’m sorry I called

It’s just I’ve been thinking that this all is a mess

Look, I’m sorry, I tried

It’s just I needed to leave that place in my mind

I don’t know how we got here

I watched us fade till we disappeared//

In this first verse I wanted to capture what’s going through my character’s head; they’re thinking out loud - saying what’s on their mind as it comes. Trying to explain themselves and justify their actions:

//Look, I’m sorry, I tried

It’s just I needed to leave that place in my mind//

They’re trying to explain that they really tried to make things work but they could feel things coming to an end and that was enough for them to leave; they wanted to end it before their partner could because then at least it was on their terms and not their partner’s.

The song then moves onto the chorus. For the chorus I wanted to incorporate a reminiscent aspect of the relationship – the character brings up things they remember of how it was and events from during the relationship.

//But I still see you clear as day

You’re standing in the doorway with that stupid look on your face

And I still hear you call my name

I love how it sounds from your lips

Didn’t know your voice was so delicate

Til I heard it breaking that night we both cried

And I was trying so hard to get you to stay

But you’d already packed your things

Before I could say anything//

I wanted to include both good and bad aspects of the relationship in the chorus. I made the melody accompanying the lyrics uplifting and major to reflect the emotion being portrayed and then when they start describing the more negative aspects I moved onto the Em chord to create a more minor feel to that point in the song.

The following verses and chorus follow a similar sort of idea:

//Hey I know this isn’t ideal

But you're still so prominent in my head

And I know that I’ve said too much

But there are still so many things left

Where do we take it from here?

Is there any way we could reappear?//

//’cause I still see it clear as day

Every fight would end up in your arms

If this is the storm, I guess that was the calm

And I still feel your embrace like it was yesterday

The warmth of your breath on my neck

How did we end up in this much of a mess?

‘cause I remember us walking up the street

We’re hand in hand, you’re smiling down at me

And I remember how you packed your things

Before I could say anything//

//Hey I’m sorry I called

It’s just I was hoping we could sort out this mess

Look, I’m sorry, I tried

It’s just I’ve been thinking about it and I changed my mind//

I wanted to end the song similarly to how I started it. I wanted to add some lyrical changes so it wasn’t repetitive and so it could add to the story-line I’d created. The character opens up at the end and admits that they’ve made a mistake. They own up to their mistakes and realise they were wrong. The song ends with them telling their ex that they changed their mind. In my head I’ve created an ending for them but I wanted to leave it open to the imagination of the listener.

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