The endeavor of every songwriter is, of course, to write a good song. It’s hard work, and sometimes one labours for a long time on a melody only to discover that it has no life.

 

There’s no sure-fire recipe for a song that lives. One only knows it when it has been born.

 

Michelangelo once said that he understood his task as a sculptor not as creating form out of a block of marble, but of liberating the form that was already there within.

 

Songwriting is like that too: a good song is one that, once formalized, seems not made but as if it has always existed somewhere (where?); the songwriter has merely embodied it successfully.

 

Janice says that sometimes she catches herself humming a song I’ve just written—and it feels like one she’s always known. Then I feel lucky to have plucked a living song from the air.

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