Climate Change · Songwriting

These Arrangements Are Not Working

I’ve been working on a song ….

I took some ideas to the songwriting circle I go to and sang what I thought might be a part of it

If you don’t feel the despair, you’re not listening
If you don’t feel the despair, you’re not listening
We might as well be walking in the dark
We might as well be walking in the dark

I wanted some positivity in the song, not just despair, so I tweaked those lines to repeat later

If you don’t feel the desire, you’re not living
If you don’t feel the desire, you’re not loving
We might as well be walking in the dark
We might as well be walking in the dark

I had some other lines, but hadn’t managed to put them together. One of the others at the songwriting circle offered to take some of my other words and work on them.

Interesting proposal … I said yes. Why not give it a go ?

The only reservation I was having was that the heart of the song was to be about not seeing the reality of a situation that is in crisis. Being blind to it, or seeing it, but not being willing to do anything about it.

Within hours, I had a message from Chris with some words … some from the bits I had sent him, and some he had added. I had a problem with one of the lines he had written, and to be honest, I couldn’t get past that line. I hate being negative about what other people do, and I couldn’t bring myself to be honest about that one line, so I just stalled.

We were away from home, and I couldn’t process what he had sent me until we were back home, a couple of days later. But when I finally got around to looking at what he had sent, I was able to see beyond that one awkward line and work on the whole.

Here is what we ended up with …

Is it dusk or is it dawn,
The beginning or the end?
We’ve been here so many times before!
Nothing left but tears and pain,

These arrangements are not working,
Don’t cry, you’re not to blame,
My soul is calling for the soil,
Let me dream again!
Oh Let me dream again

It seems like death just falls away,
Like drops of water, just about to land!
You’re holding on to every yesterday
But find there’s nothing in your hand!

If you can’t feel my despair, you’re not listening,
Like jewels, the tears on my cheeks are glistening!
We might as well be walking in the dark

If you can’t feel my pain, you’re not listening,
I’m like a ship that’s slowly listing!
We might as well be walking in the dark

Throwing ashes in the sky
There’s a message in the rain
It seems we’re deaf to every cry
Maybe there’s one last chance for us to change

These arrangements are not working,
Don’t try to shift the blame
The Earth is calling for the soil
O let her breathe again

These arrangements are not working,
Every breath is pain.
When the time comes round
To lay down in the soil,
We’ll dream again!

We’ll dream again!
We’ll dream again!

I’m happy that I’ve been able to keep the heart of what I intended in the song. Also very happy that the collaboration was a success from my point of view. Without the collaboration, the song would not exist !

The text exchange with co-writer Chris was very encouraging. He likes the end result, which is important to me.

The next time I go to the songwriting circle in a week’s time, I hope he’ll be there, and I’ll play it …

To hear the song – go here – These Arrangements Are Not Working

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