Jocelyn Mackenzie and EHP at South by Southwest in March

Pearl and the Beard is on the road, again!  We played our show in Providence tonight and got back to where we are staying, and Jocelyn and I worked on a song for my sick late face today…

I have been listening to come songwriters who write songs with very intelligent but “direct” and to the point text.  I have tried a direct word song before, but I still feel like I compromised the exercise by going back and redoing it and hiding some of the true meaning in it.

In this exercise, Jocelyn and I wrote just a few lines a piece.  I handed my lyrics to her and she gave hers to me, and we each formed a quickly melody based on each others’ words.  These were both done in less than 3 minutes a piece, I’d say.  In my version of Joc’s words, I was hearing different chords on the uke than I could play and since I don’t actually know all the chords on the uke, I had to guess.  This is a good incentive to learn this instrument.

This was a really helpful exercise.  There will be more of these.  This kind of thing also helps relax us and eases us into the writing process together.  Even though Joc and I love each other and respect each other immensely as musicians, writing openly in front of one another can still be a challenge because of a little insecurity here and there.  This is a good thing to test and try to rid oneself of, I say.

The lyrics you see below are just how they appeared on our pages when we traded them with each other.  We took the exact amount of time on them: between 30 seconds and a minute.  We spent only a few minutes alone devising a strategy for melody and structure.

The Only One For Me (Emily melody, Joc lyrics)

Sitting by the fire in a tent down by the sea,
Here I see my honey comin’ down the shore to me.
And heaven knows that he has been the one I’m dreaming of
Cause he’s the only one for me, the only one I love!

I Love You, But I’m Angry (Joc melody/Emily lyrics)

I love you
But I’m angry.
You knew that.
I wrote it in my letter to you.
The note I sent, it got lost.
But, in it I said that I loved you.
In my letter I said I was angry
But in it I said that I love you.