I’ve noticed something recently. Both of the last two weeks, I’ve absolutely gotten obsessed with a single song. We’re talking humming the song obsessively to the dear wife. We’re talking 19 on the playcount within a few days. Last week’s was Ingrid Michaelson’s Everybody, and this week, it’s “Wagon Wheel,” by Bob Dylan and Old Crow Medicine Show.
Everybody, everybody wants to love…
So rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain:
The more interesting thing I noticed was that each seemed to be an absolute driving force in what my characters were going through in my draft of The Book of the Dead. Ingrid Michaelson sings about how everybody, everybody wants to love, and everybody, everybody wants to be loved–and it’s so true.
We’re not just motivated by the desire to be loved (the more obvious one); we also want something to love. We want to find someone worthy of our love, so badly that we imbue them with all sorts of noble qualities, and it’s so painful when they let us down that we often turn a blind eye, or create absurd explanations. Or we want to love an activity so much that when we can’t pursue it the way we want to, we’ll bend all sorts of dimensions, including common sense and kindness, to make it go the way we want.
That was last week. Last week, my characters were falling in love all over the place. This week, things are going kind of sucky for them, and what do they want? To be rocked. Rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain; rock me, mama, like a south-bound train. Hey-ey, mama, rock me now. The love is on a fast course to crashing, and they need a little comfort.
If all goes well with my writing next week, things will go even worse for the characters. I can’t think what song will be adequate. Something with lots of screaming. Anybody know a song of loud, horrible, pained agony? Something by Kurt Cobain, maybe, except not the Tori Amos cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” That’s the song I’ll play as everybody surveys the wreckage.
Do you have any songs you’ve listened to obsessively during any particular period, of creativity or just life? (I vaguely remember KJL’s obsession with a certain song senior year of college, something with ‘ocean’ in the title or band name…Who am I thinking of?)