Monday, February 20, 2012

The Stories Behind Two FAWM Songs

For all those NaNoers who want something with a little more rhythm... this is the month and the challenge you've been waiting for! I'm a bit addicted to deadline-oriented creative challenges, and so for February, I write songs. This year, most of them even have halfway-decent original music!
It's February Album Writing Month, where the goal is to write fourteen songs in 28 days (or 14 and a half in 29 days this year). I hope you'll check out my songs and give me some feedback.

Anyways, en guise de blogpost aujourd'hui, I'm going to talk about the process that led to a couple songs that I'll also post tonight.

Death song (temporary title)
The first is a rather sad song that I haven't been able to find music for yet,
because the subject matter is hitting too close to home. A friend of mine, someone who doesn't have a lot of friends, has recently revealed to me that he's dying. He's in a lot of pain, but no one knows what's wrong. So I was trying to express the uncertainty I felt, and the fear, and the regret that perhaps I haven't been the best friend to him, that I haven't valued him as much as I should.

Recently in English class we read a short story called "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It's a critique of the "rest cure" that was supposed to cure women of their "hysteria." In the story, the lack of mental stimulation drives the "patient" mad.

The story incensed me within the first page and a half with the husband's behaviour. He's horrible and "looks after" his wife in ways that treat her as a child, someone with no mental capacity to make decisions or even offer opinions on her own mental state - not just a child, but a mewling infant!

When we talked about the story in class, a huge divide was evident. Most of the girls saw the author's message about the rest cure and men taking power from women. But many of the boys didn't. Some even defended the husband as a caring man who did his best for his frail wife - even though he ignored her whenever she voiced an opinion! 

As it turns out, the author was herself subjected to this "rest cure" as a young wife, and only saved herself from insanity by leaving her husband and going back to work as a writer. That discovery shut the misogynist comments right up, but I was left with a bad taste in my mouth, reminding me that even today there is often a huge discrepancy between the reality boys see and the reality girls live in.

Inspired by all these thoughts, I wrote 'Wrong' as a sort of message to my sister. I wish she would be a lot more independent of what she hears, and not look at me like I'm crazy for not listening to all the messages about who I should be as a girl.

Anyways, I hope you'll check these two songs out and comment there if you're a fawmer or back here if you're not. Thanks and enjoy the week!

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