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"More On Songwriting"

I've been told that most big hits are love songs, 
but like all generalizations, 
this is not specific to every case. 
And like a lot of rules, 
I think they're made for somebody else. 

I like to write about other subjects. 
For instance, life and death. 
Here's an upbeat one 
about meeting again in another life... 

"WE WALKED THIS ROAD BEFORE." 

Look into my eyes 
And try to tell me you don't know me. 
Think back a hundred years or more. 
I don't remember if we laughed or if we cried, 
But, I know 
We Walked This Road Before. 

Five hundred years ago 
Did the April grass look greener? 
Did we hear the wind outside our door? 
Or were we just two passing faces 
In dim and distant places? 
Oh, I know 
We Walked This Road before. 

If you should turn and find me staring 
In the windows of your mind, 
I'm just searching down the dark and dusty corridors of memory 
For the worlds we left behind. 

A Thousand years ago 
Was September just as golden? 
Did a seashell hold an ocean's roar? 
The breath of life is fleeting, 
But, we'll meet again someday, 
'cause I know 
We Walked This Road Before. 
Yeah, I know 
We Walked This Road Before. 

*      *      * 
This next one is less cheerful, 
and a little spooky. 
It concerns the guest of honor at his own funeral 
calling out to those he's leaving behind. 

"CHAPEL HILL." 

Don't leave me alone on Chapel Hill 
In the silver mist, in the midnight chill. 
Oh, the moon is rising and the night is still. 
Don't leave me alone on Chapel Hill 

They placed the flowers on me, on Chapel Hill. 
I'm gonna be so lonely, on Chapel Hill 
I wanna live in the sunshine, 
and feel the autumn chill. 
Don't leave me alone on Chapel Hill 

Can't you hear me, mama? 
Can't you hear me cry? 
Don't walk away, papa 
Don't say goodbye. 
Don't you know I love you, and I always will? 
Don't leave me alone tonight 
on Chapel Hill 

Oh, I feel so afraid on Chapel Hill, 
As the voices fade from Chapel Hill. 
And now the service is over, and everything's still. 
And I'm all alone on Chapel Hill 

Can't you hear me, mama? 
Can't you hear me cry? 
Don't walk away, papa 
Don't say goodbye. 
Don't you know I love you, and I always will? 
Don't leave me alone tonight on Chapel Hill 

*      *      * 
It's stimulating for me as a songwriter 
to think outside the industry's box of rules. 
They don't all have to be love songs. 

Copyright  March 9, 2005, Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.
"We Walked This Road Before" and "Chapel Hill"  Jack Blanchard (BMI). All rights reserved.

 

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