Two Down, Ten to Go

March 14th, 2022

Last year, as you’ll recall from my various newsletters, I participated in February Album Writing Month. It was an attempt to actually invest in my songwriting chops for once, in the same way that one invests in Bitcoin, namely, with an unwarranted amount of enthusiasm and a notable underestimation of risk. Don’t get me wrong; I wrote some very good songs (as you’ll know, if you listened to last month’s album download). But it was a lot.

This year, we’re gonna do something different, and yes, that was the royal “we”. We, we mean, I plan to space out my, I mean our, songwriting efforts, one per month, as the good Lord intended. So two months are gone, you say. Where are the songs? Well, keep your pants on, because I got receipts, starting with the deep, dark recesses of January. 

Over the last couple years, as you know, I’ve been hiding in my living room (no particular reason), and I seem to have developed some bad habits. Nothing having to do with personal hygiene – I can assure you that I’m still reasonably clean-shaven and recently bathed – but rather the inordinate consumption of some popular culture which is frequently the target of no small amount of derision. I refer, of course, to romance novels.

No, no, no, we’re not talking about the Barbara Cartland ones with Fabio on the cover (how many of those did she write, anyway? 700?). These are modern, smart, funny, and sometimes really fabulously written (for instance, go read “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill”, by Abbi Waxman, and tell me that you don’t squirt milk out of your nose during the scene with the children’s reading group). But I must admit that the genre admits to a fairly standard set of tropes, which are frequently combined in a Chinese menu sort of way (woman loses job/boyfriend/job and boyfriend, best friend gets married/divorced/moves away, woman has love/hate relationship with coworker/contractor/local policeman), and, voila, “Meet Cute“:

She’s a corporate lawyer prone to dizzy spells
He’s a fugitive son of a tango king
He’s got a cop on his tail
So he asks her to dance
He’s the best man, rocking a boutonniere
She’s a bridesmaid with hay fever
She gets snot on the lapel of his tuxedo
Do these crazy kids have a chance?

They’re an unlikely pair
And the prospects are grim
He’s addicted to her
And she’s allergic to him
Several chapters remain
But anyone with brain
Will know they’re gonna live
Happily ever after

It goes on like this, in that way that I have.

As for February, I finished one then, too. It’s called “Mean Streak”, and maybe someday you’ll hear it. I started it near the end of the month because the song I was actually trying to write was going nowhere, and that idea was too good to waste, and I’m starting to realize that since not every song is going to be a masterpiece, I’ve gotta choose my battles. My adoring wife, She Who Must Be Taunted, thinks Mr. February is pretty good, but it doesn’t make me dance around the room, and that’s the standard, as we all know.

March? Who knows about March. One month at a time, dudes.

Comments are closed.