The lost melody
Have you ever had a melody pop into your brain and the promptly lose it before you can have a chance to write it down? Even though the iPhone and Droid have made it easier to remember these melodic gems, still there are times where complete chorusí and verses appear out of nowhere and then they disappear just as fast seemingly to be lost in the chaotic mind that is a song writer.
As a Christian songwriter my goal is to write music to glorify God as an act of worship. In other words, make the most of Christ with what I have been given; and it is God who has given me both the melodies and the talent to do something with it. So, with this thought we can safely say God is the One who gives these songs to glorify Himself, right? Okay, if the ultimate goal of our songwriting is to glorify Christ then even the lost melodies are a gift that we can leave at the feet of Jesus. Are the complete songs any more glorifyish (is that a word) to Him than the lost ones? The only difference is that the finished song is one that everyone can hear what is going on in your mind and the other only God and you have heard it.
My point? Iím glad you asked! If we, as songwriters, think of these songs as gifts we can give Jesus then every chorus, verse, and every single note that is either written down or lost forever is a perfect and precious gift for Him. Just because they are lost doesnít mean they are worthless. He is endless worth and value! So donít be sad that perfect Dove award winning song perishes never to return again. Offer it up as an act of worship and move on. He is worth it.
In my experience, these "lost" pieces often come back in some shape or form. Ideas seem to incubate for a while, so even if we can't forcibly recall them, they still seem to be there somewhere. Often when I finally write a song down, it has a familiar feeling to me.
You are right though - some songs are just supposed to be seranades to Him, just for that moment, and that's it.
What are other people's experiences?
One aspect I've come to consider is which melody is for ME and which melody is for sharing. As songwriters, we're tempted to make public EVERY melody that comes to mind. However, Zephaniah 3:17 and Psalm 32:7 speak of God surrounding those he loves with songs of joy and deliverance. Just because a melody comes to my head does not mean I have to work at it to become a complete song. It may very well mean God is surrounding me with singing and he desires I enjoy those moments with him. So, these melodies are not "lost" so to speak. They are cherished as moments that God sang over me. In many cases, songwriting is simply making music WITH God rather than FOR God. He likes to write songs, too. :-)
Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant
For me the melodies that really stick become the ones I concentrate my efforts to bring forth the complete song. A song needs to assert its right to be heard, much less taken fully to production and shared. A sttong melody will do wonders for a song. They are rare and the ones you are gifted with should be cultivated.
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