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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Funny Thing Happened

I started to learn the chords for some standards, starting with "Dedicated to You" and "Alice and Wonderland." A funny thing happened: I realized my songs were not as good as those. Of course, this is obvious and expected. I am not a professional songwriter. Moreover, to become a standard, one of the 400 or 500 songs in the canon we might call "the great American songbook," a song had to rise above the level of thousands of other songs that were written by professional songwriters. So to even compare what I can do to even a lesser "standard" is a kind of category mistake. I like my songs because they are mine, and because I put in them melodic hooks and cool-sounding chords that I like.

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