September 15, 2019

I wrote my first song.

Material gifts are nice – if you thought of the person, what she would love, what she would need. But non-material gifts are also nice.

It was our friend Anna’s 40th birthday and I decided to write a song as a gift. I had never written a song. I couldn’t yet play the guitar well but I had some connection with the words: we were acquaintances (and I wanted us to become good friends).

I convinced Fabio to write the song together. We started on Thursday. I jotted down some words and realised my depth of knowledge about her was limited. I sent a message to Maja and Burcu, who knew her better than me and asked about what characteristics of Anna stood out for them. They gave me a lot of food for text.

Composing a melody fitting the text was not possible. Fabio told me the order was wrong, we should have started with the melody in the first place. He started playing things and the things found form, a raw melody came out.

I wrote the first verse and the chorus. But I did not like it so much. I felt tired and was questioning my decision.

Fabio  told me that it still was not late, we could give up. I said “We are doing this”.


It was the evening of Friday and I went to bed without success. The birthday was on Saturday – starting at 3. 

I woke up at 8 am, feeling anxious. The song was not yet there. Was it a good idea? Could I do it? Why did I put myself under such pressure? Fabio was also not helping. He was saying it was not late to buy a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolate.

I meditated and sit with the self doubt, with the discomfort. Then I had breakfast and started writing. I re-wrote the first verse and the chorus. We played it, it was good. While I wrote the rest of the song Fabio composed the intro and ending. In one hour our song was complete.

It was painful but I loved this type of pain ( see my previous post about choosing favorite pain), it was my kind of shit sandwich as Mark Manson would say.

I loved the play you can have with words, trying to find the rhyme, fitting it in the melody, finding something simple but meaningful. 

This is our final work:

I think writing songs make things lighter. Are you angry? Write a song. Are you disappointed in yourself? Write a song. Are you in pain? Write a song. It feels better.

Writing this song was my personal victory. I did not give up because it felt difficult. I remembered the time I escaped from the swimming competition, the time I ran away from stage, the time I did not raise my hand at school even though I knew the answer. I changed my personal history with that, created a new story. I am happy. And I have already themes for the next songs! (Did we once talk about focus of my work – here comes another project, oh well!)


About the author 

Isil Uysal Calvelli

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