Tag Archives: writing a song

How Do You Write A Song, Neil Diamond?

25 Sep

Five days following the Boston Marathon bombings, the Red Sox invited Neil Diamond to perform Sweet Caroline at the game’s eighth-inning. Returning home to New York, he knew he wanted to do something. So he wrote a song.

NEIL-DIAMOND.9.25.13.BostonCapThe Freedom Song (They’ll Never Take Us Down)  took him about six weeks to write and record. He had a lot riding on it. He wanted to get it right. He felt he needed to get it right. Neil Diamond wrote a compelling and passionate message from his heart. He ended up writing an anthem.

Sold on Amazon and iTunes, 100% of the proceeds benefit the Boston One Fund and The Wounded Warriors Project. The song is a tribute to the first responders, promoting freedom, pride, unity, and strength. What a keen demonstration of the power of music. Can you listen to it without shedding a tear? I can’t.

“Every song is different. I wrote ‘Sweet Caroline’ in an hour and it took me four months to write ‘I Am, I Said’ … This was one of the most difficult songs I’ve ever written. And I wanted to get it right.”

“I was moved by the unity and the attitude of the people in Boston. And that’s really all a songwriter needs, is to be inspired. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does you have to follow that muse and I did …

“I didn’t know exactly what would happen with this song, but I did know I had to write it. So I set out on that creative journey of writing something that would lift people up, lift their spirits in the way that mine was lifted when I flew to Boston to sing at the Red Sox game.”

 

Sources:
Pic: Michael Dwyer, AP
1st Quote: Boston Herald, June 27, 2013
2nd Quote: Billboard, June 26, 2013

A Simon and Garfunkel Reunion Was Only a Motion Away

19 Sep

Simon&GarfunkleConcertCentralPark.MicahelDoretPoster.9.19.13Oh yeah, I was there. Thirty-two years ago today, in 1981, Simon and Garfunkel reunited for a concert in New York City’s Central Park. It was a benefit concert thought up by the NYC Parks Commissioner and the super promoter, Ron Delsener, to clean up Central Park. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel broke up after they released Bridge Over Troubled Water, but they agreed to get together for this worthy cause. After all, they are New Yorkers.

Simon&GarfunkleInCentralPk.9.19.13 Backed by the best of the best studio musicians, they played for an audience of 500,000 who sang along with them on Mrs. Robinson, Homeward Bound, Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard, Still Crazy After All These Years, Slip Slidin’ Away, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, The Boxer, and Bridge Over Troubled Water.

You can hear these songs playing in your head now, right? Such great songs. We all know the words. The melodies. Those clear voices. Those harmonies. Oh, those beautiful harmonies. The duo, their songs, the concert. All are memorable and still magical. Here’s The Sound of Silence from the concert. Enjoy!

Paul Simon talked to Wynton Marsalis about his songwriting process:

“It’s not so much that I’m creating with it, it’s that I’m untying knots with it. And the more experience that you have with problem solving, the more creatively you can untie and re-tie that knot.”

Sources:
Concert Poster pic: Michael Doret
Live Concert Album Link and Pic: Simon and Garfunkel The Concert In Central Park
Quote: CBS This Morning Interview with Wynton Marsalis, May 30, 2012

How Do You Write a Song, Paul Simon?

15 Aug

Twenty-two years ago today, August 15, 1991, Paul Simon’s concert in New York City’s Central Park drew hundreds of thousands of fans. And they all sang along with him on The Boxer, Cecilia, You Can Call Me Al, Kodachrome, Still Crazy After All These Years, and Bridge Over Troubled Water.

All these great songs. We all know the words. And the melodies. He talked to Wynton Marsalis about his songwriting process:

“It’s not so much that I’m creating with it, it’s that I’m untying knots with it. And the more experience that you have with problem solving, the more creatively you can untie and re-tie that knot.”

PaulSimonCentralPk.8.15.13

Sources:
Quote: CBS This Morning Interview with Wynton Marsalis, May 30, 2012
Live Concert Album Link and Pic: Paul Simon official website

How Do You Write a Song, James Taylor?

31 Jul

Forty-two years ago today, James Taylor’s You’ve Got A Friend by Carole King sat atop the Billboard Top 100 chart, his only #1 single.

He talked to Charlie Rose about his songwriting process:

“It’s just very satisfactory…It’s like a puzzle fits together somehow.”

“The most delightful thing that happens to me is when the pieces fall together and it makes a song…”

“Writing music is a lot like listening to music or appreciating music with just a little bit of an extra something to it.”WWW.JT.7.31.13WWW.JT.7.31.13.young

Sources:
Quotes: CBS This Morning
Pic (current): Associated Press
Pic (1971): Biography.com

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