I wrote my first song when I was 12. It was terrible, as were the next few years of songwriting… I thought I knew more about music and life than I actually did. In reality, I was nowhere near experienced enough in anything to be able to write somewhat decent music. My lyrics were cliche and I couldn’t keep a rhythm to save my life.
I think I was 16 when I finally wrote a halfway decent song. It wasn’t even meant to be a song at first; it was a dumb little poem that I wasn’t ever going to show anyone. Funnily enough, that one ended up being the one original song I played while I was a music leader at summer camp. I call it Only One and it’s probably the only song I’ve written that’s somewhat encouraging.
The next three years of songwriting were filled with better quality songs, but all of them were filled with melancholy. I put a few out on YouTube, but a lot of them are still tucked away inside notebooks and my brain. Perhaps I’ll dig them out someday. Or maybe not.
I played my first open mic last year, so I decided to pull out a song I wrote called The Storm. It’s a couple of years old at this point, but it’s one of my favorite songs out of what I’ve written. I wasn’t expecting much of a response, but a few people caught me afterwards to comment on it… The general consensus was: “That was so depressing, are you okay?”
The rest of the original songs I played throughout the year got a similar response.
Yesterday, I wrote a happy song for the first time. Maybe it shouldn’t be as big of a deal as it seems to be right now; I’m just incredibly excited that I seem to be growing the tiniest bit. I’m tired of being depressed. I’m tired of writing songs that bring other people down with me. Sad songs have their place, but it’s time for me to move on from letting that be my norm. Here’s to happy little songs.