calliopeva (calliopeva) wrote,


The SpinTunes challenge this round was a beaut- Happy To Sad In 4 Seconds - Write a sad song about birth, a moment that is normally a happy moment, and make it a real tear jerker. You can't use the words "Happy" or "Birthday".

Right off, I knew I wanted to go with a lullabye- and I wanted to go it as alone as possible. No desperate calls to Edric, or Dave, or Caleb (who I have mentally dubbed my "music geek brain trust saviors"). I also wanted to dust off the ol harp, and maybe the auto harp, because I kept "hearing" a series of harp notes as the background to the song in my head.

There was a LOT of dust. Took over 2 hours to tune the autoharp, another hour to do the harp, cursing all the way at the latter- the 3 lowest notes refused to cooperate and hold pitch, they would unwind the second I removed the tuning peg. Thanks to Caleb for finding a site that helped me fix that problem! The story of searching 4 stores in 3 hours (including driving) to FIND a tuning peg I will leave to your imaginations.

As it turned out, I didn't use the harp in the final mix after all- couldn't get it to sound the way it did in my head. Maybe I will use it if I re-record once I get a decent system set up that doesn't hum through the song...(sorry Joe!)

OK, I knew I wanted lullabye, and that minor keys made folks sad. What story should I go for? My first idea was of a woman having a miscarriage- another case of writing what you know about. That morphed into an echo song between two women, one of whom is happy to be pregnant but has a miscarriage at 10 weeks, the other, a woman who doesn't want to be pregnant and has an abortion at ten weeks, by the end of the song. I created two lists of their thoughts the night the challenge was announced-

Woman 1 Woman 2
Thank God- I'm PREGNANT!____________________________Oh god- I'm pregnant!
I will love/would have loved you so much____________I cannot love you
I will take/would have taken such good care of you__I can't take care of you
a feeling like a butterfly dancing beneath my heart_I feel sick- scared-nausea
You stopped moving__________________________________Please stop moving!
I want to be a mommy________________________________I don't want to be a mommy
pain-giving birth to no one_________________________Pain-just cells- it's no one
always a person to me_______________________________Not really a person
(both) Oh God I want you back!

Well...that is a song yet to be done. You can see the elements I pulled from it for my lullabye though, the feeling I was going for. Soon as I can figure out how to do a double voice song like that without sounding like I am in an echo chamber, I will give it a shot.

Meanwhile- the battle of the minor keys, and what chords go where. Without begging for help. But maybe- cheating just a little? I remembered hearing someone claim that the opening bars of Star Wars were really the opening bars of 'Born Free" played backwords...ok, what happens if I play "The Coventry Carol" backwords? oooooOOOOOOooooo. I get a cool sounding saddish song, AND the book has the chords on top of the notes so I don't have to fight to figure them out! Now the final song I made didn't use all of the Coventry Carol notes, and some of the notes got swapped about; the timing is different- half notes are quarters or are now whole notes. I kept the chords listed; again, for the most part, but not always. So I guess it really is original, but with training wheels. And for once, for me- not too wordy! It was too short though, which is why the humming to a baby at the beginning happened. I wanted a harp bridge after the second section, before the "something feels wrong" part but it wasn't cooperating and I was 3 hours away from the listening party time- sorry 'bout that.

I used my C recorder to get the tune down, and my autoharp for the background, keeping both really low so as not to obliterate my voice. I did want a voice fading away at the end, and the fact that the meaning of the words was getting to me and that they were quickly closing my throat certainly helped that fade. Overall I like the finished song, if not the finished production values. I really liked the way the dancing theme appeared as I was composing the lyrics, and helped to bring the song together.

This song is dedicated to my two living children, Edward and Elizabeth, and to the two who never got to finish the dance...

JoAnn Abbott
Shadow SpinTunes 3

Bye baby sleep, be still now
I feel you dance within
Mommy is tired, so rest now
Your life will soon begin.

Just got the word! We’re so glad!
I’ll be a mom this year
Wonder who she will look like
Can’t wait until she’s here!

Bye baby sleep, be still now
I feel you dance within
Mommy is tired, so rest now
Your life will soon begin.

Somethings not right- this feels wrong
Theres no dance I can feel
“We cannot find the heartbeat”
Don’t let this be real.

My baby sleeps no more now
She'll never dance again
One that I loved is gone now
I want her back- God give her back-
She won’t come back again.
Tags: lullabye, miscarriage, sad song challenge, song fu, spintunes
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