My wife Susan and I, along with our daughter Heather, and son Joshua, shared the Thanksgiving meal seated around my folks table. Joining all of us were some friends of my mom and dad’s who we were getting to know for the first time, Pat and Mary.
As the afternoon was winding down, the discussion turned to my songwriting. Our new friends were interested in what I was trying to accomplish with my writing, and I played a resent track by Australian artist Brett Clarke singing my song “I Want To”. They seemed to enjoy the cut, and we talked some about the process of writing a song, and then having an artist record the song.
Before long, my dad was talking to them about a song I had written clear back in my junior year of high school. The song, titled “Truckin’ For The Lord”, long predates the critiquing and rewriting process I have engaged in with the Nashville community over the last 10 years in the pursuit of commercial success. I pulled up a “work tape” recording of the song from my “songs page” at SongU.com. SongU is one of my primary Nashville “go-tos” for strengthening my writing.
As the song played, tears started to form in Mary’s eyes. I knew it wasn’t because of the sonic quality of the recording. Like I said, it was just a “work tape”, just me and my guitar. The song has never been demoed in the studio, and it certainly has never been cut by an artist. Come to find out, Pat and Mary have a 28 year old son who has been an over-the-road truck driver for many years. In fact their son was due in the next day for a belated Thanksgiving with them.
Right there, right in that moment, I was once again reminded as to why I write songs. Sure I always want to write the best song I can, and you bet I want some big cuts by some big artists; I need to feed my family too. Right there though, right in that moment, something I wrote connected with somebody. Yeah, just a simple song I wrote, 38 years ago.