LYRICS and SONG INSPIRATION: Steve make a bullet point summary of the main elements of Shawn’s Story. How does this help to writing song lyrics? Breaking down Shawn’s story helps us find which parts will have the most emotional impact. And there is one last little interview nugget I had to share: All Shawn’s Mom’s boyfriends bought him Barbies.
Here are the main pieces of Shawn’s story that I list in the video:
- His Free-Range Childhood
- His Teen Mom: She neglected him and later committed suicide
- The “Miss me, miss me, now you gotta kiss me” moment.
- His newfound love of Horses
- The realization that the his happiness took hold when he stopped feeling sorry for himself
Shawn is not a cry-er, that was obvious the moment we started to talk. Full disclosure, he even warned me when I approached him about appearing on the show, that he would not cry.
Yet you can feel that the memories hold a lot of power still. If I had to pick one, and only one, that would deliver an emotional impact for him, it would be the story of when his Mom chased him throughout the house, then caught him and kissed him everywhere.
LYRICS and SONG INSPIRATION
That said, there really is a pretty rich “tableau” of images in Shawn’s story, even going back to when he was made to parade down the street like a model in high heels and towels for a dress and hair, by his warped Aunts. As I mentioned, the latter two events likely won’t make the cut.
I want to resist the urge to write something dark. Shawn’s song should be about who he is today. Shawn’s story is about overcoming pain, loneliness, rejection, and loss. Shawn doesn’t dwell in these feeling and neither should his song.
Most successful songs celebrate the human spirit. They celebrate resilience and
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What is Toronto Song Project?
Toronto Song Project is a Web Series where Steve searches the city for Real People with Real Stories, then writes them a real song based on their life events.
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