A Songwriter’s Wage

When I was a teen I studied many, many songwriters
I wanted to know why I was drawn to that art like they were
Why I felt the need to craft stories with paper & a pen
Why I knew it would be my saving grace and cure

I kept researching the greats like Berlin, Gershwin & Porter
Their histories are and were fascinating to me back then
I used to pour through my Grandfather’s sheet music
of “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “Where or When”

And as I studied them, I found we had things in common
Mr. Berlin started out drawing cartoons and so did I
I began to figure out what drove them to create
and also could finally understand the reasons why

I’d stay up all night working on my early songs
and each one I wrote brought me closer to my muse
Why I now feel compelled to enter writing contests
Why it doesn’t matter to me if I win or lose

Why there’s nothing that comes close to the feeling
of inventing a tune that I can be proud to sing
Why I’d rather be writing than doing other things
like working on my serve or my really bad golf swing

And when Pete Seeger’s words stood out in one of my books
I felt so at ease about what I was looking to do
He said, “All songwriters are linked in a chain”
and that’s the reason why I’m sharing my songs with you

Perhaps you’re going through a really bad breakup
or you just want to be entertained or escape
Maybe you need to hear some encouraging words
to whip you to a better place or get into shape

Well all those hours of learning songwriting history
All those times I chose to write instead of play
turned me into someone who knows it’s essential
that I sit down to write something every day

Some people have a gift of knowing how to fix a truck
or have a passion to build houses or teach History
Maybe they are meant to farm or coach a baseball team
or go to school to learn a trade or earn a degree

But ever since I was a child growing up in Santa Cruz
I was drawn to songs and performing them on the stage
Now my only goal beyond being a good husband and Dad
is to make a life by earning a songwriter’s wage

I’m looking forward to earning a songwriter’s wage.

2017

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