Journaling Idea #24: Begin with a Song

I often catch myself unexpectedly humming and wonder why I thought of that song. Follow your subconscious, and write.

Boombox photo from Wikimedia Commons

Option 1: Playlist Your Day

If you enjoy journaling as a way of reflecting on your day, then consider creating a playlist of songs that would work as a soundtrack for your day. Include a title for at least four parts of the day:

  • Morning
  • Afternoon
  • Evening
  • Night

Option 2: Your Story Behind the Song

You can write about a song that comes to mind, or you can use the following steps:

Make a Google search for a certain year and genre. I searched the best country songs of 1995.

Pick out a song you remember identifying with more than once. I chose Bryan White’s “Someone Else’s Star.”

Find a recording of the song and listen to it.

Describe where the song takes you. “Someone Else’s Star” takes me to my dorm room. I’m lying on my bed all alone, listening to the radio as I look at the window. I was twenty-six and single.

What was your favorite line or lines? Why?

The chorus spoke to me as I tried to rationalize why I was stuck alone.

I guess I must be wishin’ on someone else’s star
It seems like someone else keeps gettin’ what I’m wishin’ for
Why can’t I be as lucky as those other people are?
Oh, I guess I must be wishin’… on someone else’s star

How do you feel about the song today?

As a man who has found his love, I don’t identify with this song anymore. It fit me as a single graduate student. I felt incomplete. My wife makes me feel whole.

Option 3: Playfully Parody

As a teen in the 1980s, I loved Weird Al Yankovic.

If you get an alternative thought to a song you hear, follow that angle and write a parody.

Option 4: Lyrics for a Tune Without Words

Listening to instrumental music that has no lyrics, or whose lyrics you do not know, can provide you with the opportunity to compose words for the tune yourself, or the piece may inspire you to imagine a narrative.

Option 5: Write Your Own Song

Reflect on your day, and sing what you feel. Write down the words that come to mind. Start with the classic verse,-chorus-verse-chorus pattern.

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