#100DaysUke2022 Songwriting Wrap-Up: 34 songs in 100 days!

On Monday, May 23, we reached Day 100 of this year's 100 Days of Ukulele project! Did you play along with us on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook?

This year (my fifth), I chose to concentrate on songwriting, and I’m very excited to say that I surpassed my goal of writing 10 new original songs. By Day 100, I found I'd written 34 full drafts (which averages out to 1 every 3 days), and I've now posted all but one to YouTube.
Here are the songs I wrote or revised significantly since my update on Day 50
  • Be My Boyscout - How did it take me this long to write my first song about my passion for Twin Peaks and Agent Dale Cooper?
    • Don't Wait Up, I'm Gone - I still need to record this, my latest original, for YouTube, as I've had a lingering cough for a few week that makes singing on camera a bit tricky.
    • How to Get to You - A number of us in the Facebook 100 Days group dedicated songs to a participant named Bob, as a thank you for all the encouragement and friendship he offered in the group. I wrote this song for him. It was also part of my 5-day "Uke Camp" course with musician Caroline Scruggs, which I signed up for to keep my creative juices flowing. She gave us pep talks and prompts for 5 days, and we shared songs in a private FB group. 
    • If You're Going to Try - I came up with the title line first, then wrote around that.
    • It Murdered Me - I wanted to write a love song that was a bit tongue-in-cheek, then thought about the current usage of "I'm dead" as social media praise.
    • The Morning I Knew It Was You - I rearranged some jazzy chords from a song I once covered, then wrote my first jazzy song!
    • Mother, I'm Blue - a melancholy moment, this quickly became one of my favorites I've written.
    • Natural Mystery (revised) - I wrote a draft of this in the first 50 days, but it felt like something was missing. This second pass sees two of the three verses doubled in length. I do like it better now.
    • Never Let Go - I shared my process for writing this on Instagram. It took a day in the park to find the chord progression, then a few more days to create a melody and write lyrics around it.
    • Nobody's Home - I wrote one of the lines for the chorus first, then the rest of the song sort of materialized around that. My first song to talk about garden gnomes! ;) 
    • Pillow Fight - this was a silly one that came out of Uke Camp. We were given the prompt to write a song about an object in the room. It is loosely based on true events, of course.
    • A Real Page-Turner - Another Uke Camp prompt was to write a song about myself as if I were the main character in a book or movie. What if my life were boring but I was sarcastic about it in the lyrics? 
    • This Turning Earth - Short and sweet, I had another title in mind, then realized that title was already a song. I'm not sure if I'm going to write more on this one. I kind of think it could use an instrumental section.
    • Waiting for the Devil to Pass By - I wrote this while a friend was grieving the loss of his father, and I think that ended up in the lyrics. Another favorite for me.
    • WE ARE NOT GOING TO KISS - One more Uke Camp creation, this one came out of a prompt to write a song about love -- but NOT romantic love. 
    • Whiplash - not a typical song for me. I was trying to write a story around rules in one of the songwriting books I was reading. I'm not sure whether it quite works for me. 
    Below are the songs I wrote in the first 50 Days
    • "Brick, Bees, and Bone” - I was invited to write this for a live premiere which will take place at Judson Memorial Church on Easter. It was based on a painting by an artist in our community, who passed away last year.
    • “Communion” - an Agape song for Judson that premiered in early March at the church.
    • “Goodbye, I Love You” - I wrote this on my new baritone, and it has become one of my favorites I’ve written.
    • "How the One Becomes" - this song started as verses pulled from an old poem; it's about connectivity as enlightenment.
    • “I Was Right, So You Left” - a fun writing exercise on opposites led to this Ringo/Beatles-inspired number.
    • "If You Don’t Leave Me” - inspired by the idea that "crumbs don't make a meal," this ended up being about a relationship that should end but doesn't.
    • "Most Wanting, Most Wanted” - this is a silly “heist”-themed love song that was fun to write.
    • “Napkin" (lyrics from 5 year old Sebastian, via a FB memory) - a silly anthem for messy children like mine.
    • “Natural Mystery” - the chorus came out of a class exercise, but the verses took longer to find. See above for info on how I revised it later.
    • "No More War” - this was my attempt to write a protest song. I'm honored that some 100 Days participants covered this as their Day 50 song.
    • “Now You’re In Space (But I Think of Your Face)” — many of the lyrics were inspired by phrases from a church sermon, but the story of the song has nothing to do with the subject of that talk.
    • “Nouns” - the germ of the idea came from both a World AIDS Day speaker and a children’s book about a magpie who has too much stuff.
    • "Pete Seeger (Takes More than Song)" - this was the first song to come out of my songwriting class with Danielle of Danielle Ate the Sandwich. I wanted to write an anti-war song about how anti-war songs don't fix the world (but they can still be used for good).
    • "Shadow Slipping Over You” - A listener pointed out to me that this is the second song I’ve written about someone walking around NYC and feeling cool. ;) I ended up really liking the way it turned out.
    • “(I Didn’t Mean to Be a) Shooting Star” - sometimes you run from love when you don’t need to.
    • “Suppose (Missing Kansas)” - another old poem turned into a song. About the grassy lawns of my youth. Inspired by some of the chords in R.E.M.'s "Nightswimming." The melody may still change a bit.
    • “Who’s Dreaming Who Here?” - I keep trying to write a pop song, just to prove I can. This is my best effort yet. I took a close look at some popular songs I like, which helped me figure out which lines and stanzas I wanted to repeat.
    • “Winner on the Ground” - my first attempt to write an anti-war folksong, this sprang to mind just after the war in Ukraine most recently entered the headlines.
    • "You Could Be the Glitter” - A message to my inner critic (I named her Jaime), as prompted by Danielle in songwriting class, but I have to give my friend Micah the credit for the titular lyrics.
    I think it could be really fun to lead some songwriting workshops for Patrons, or to host a songwriting share circle. Let me know if you might be interested.
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