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Songwriting Survey
What song(s) do you wish you had written and why?


Ambrose Woodfellow
It's only me < g >, writes:
Canadian Railroad Trilogy, written and performed by Gordon Lightfoot. Someone mentioned writing about past events should be discarded and writing of current events should be priority. Pi-shawww. Examining the song mentioned above, you will find a most beautifully poetic lyric. Only someone with a love for his country, a love for poetry and a love for telling a story could write as Gordon does. The lyrics speak of events a century ago. Isn't that cool! The story relates the beauty, ruggedness and back-breaking job of creating a country from steel rails. The simplest of melodies and chord progressions have made this one of the most personal songs I have ever heard. And it was written over 30 years ago. I suggest anyone with a heart for romance, mystery, love, fun or seriousness, spend a few hours with Gordon. I do believe you will come away a refreshed person. My love for Canada and the Northern Latitude has been inspired by Gordon. Just listen to those loons or sail to Christian Island. See you there.

Alastair Collins
A Guitarist/Vocalist/Songwriter/General nutcase from Adelaide, Australia, writes:
I wish I had written a few songs 'Hopeless' by Train because it sounds so much like something I'd write anyway. 'Chloroform the One You Love' by Flickerstick because it's so dammed funny!! 'Let it Be' by The Beatles because it is a really beautiful song that is good for depression.

Kara Michelle Santa Ana
A songwriter from Camas Washington, Loves pop, rock, and rap, writes:
I wish I had written 'Dreaming of you' by Selena. Because that song is the sweetest song. I love that song, it's to bad Selena is not in our presance today. I wish I had also written 'I wanna be bad' by Willa Ford. That song is so cool. It so represents me, and my wanna be bad side. I dont know a whole lot about that artist but I know she is a good one.

Brady Dandino
A Singer/Songwriter in LA, writes:
1.White Christmas - Best Seller of all time 2.Whenever, Wherever, Whatever By Maxwell. - Great use of chest voice and falsetto. Very melodic, but simple in nature and production.
Kester
A songwriter/amateur guitarist/pianist/ from a dot on the map, writes:
A song I really wished I had written was I hope you dance by Leann Womack.. never mind my two left feet, it's a song that's just so inspirational, and the background vocals, arrangement and everything just grab me by the heart.. I especially like the line "never settle for the path of least resistance", it's my life's philosophy.

I also love Breathe by Faith Hill, Losing my religion by R.E.M, Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve, Freshmen by the Verve Pipe, definitely Crash into me by Dave Matthews Band, and well since i'm getting a bit too talkative, i'll end with 32 flavors by Alana Davis.. Anything Alanis Morrisette is cool too. Obessessed with You Oughta know.
All these songs just move me.
Arjan van der Gaag
A guitarist/songwriter from the Netherlands, writes:
I wish I had written "Little wing" by Jimi Hendrix. It's such a powerful song and it has such a great melody. Also, the lyrics are really catching and I think this song is a dream to every songwriter. Every songwriter wishes to be as creative as Hendrix was.

Lauren
A singer/pianist/songwriter and vocal performance major in Alabama, writes:
There are so many great songs to choose from, but I would have to go with "Breathing" by Kate Bush. The song has such a strong message, and the music and lyrics could not have been more perfect to carry that message across. She manages to combine sheer eloquence with her own unique experimental sound, which results in my getting chill bumps every time I hear the song. "Breathing" is truly a little symphony in and of itself.
Jane
A musician/student in NY, writes:
"Let it Be" by Lennon and McCartney, its beauty is in its simplicity. Others that come to mind would be "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" by Billy Joel for blending together so many styles to make one song and "Shiver" by Coldplay for the way it pulses through you and soars.
Rhynhardt
A guitarist, drummer, bassist from Cape Town, South Africa, writes:
Every day, I wish that people like Adam Duritz of Counting Crows and Jewel Kilcher would stop writing songs, because they merely highlight how much I suck by comparison. Songs like 'Round Here,''Mr Jones,''Anna Begins' and 'Angels of the Silences' by Counting Crows helped shape me during some emotionally draining years, and Jewel's 'Foolish Games' and 'Near you always' are so beautiful they make me want to cry. I would like to have written 'Grow old with you' by Adam Sandler from the Wedding Singer Soundtrack, merely because, well, chicks dig it.
Montez Simmons
A songwriter/producer/performer from South Carolina, writes:
"How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore" by Prince (one of his many popular B-Side songs.). Between the rhythm on piano and the lyrical "truths" that only he knows how to convey, this song has always been in the back of my mind as something I wished I'd done. Prince can always express a notion/feeling in a unique manner. He being one of my mentors, I can only wish to be nearly THAT expressive!
Dale Godfrey
A singer/lyricist from UK, Welsh-born and Hull-based, writes:
"Common People" by Pulp It had everything. Lyrics, about the narrator (Jarvis Cocker) as a bluff yet foppish Northern lad meeting a well-bred Greek girl who just wanted to be like him, that were repetitive yet progressive, tacky yet ingenius music which recalled the 70's/80's, an explosively thrashy middle and that famous "com-mon peo-ple" rhythm. Plus, being released in Britpop's "boom year", 1995, it was of the moment.
Gen
Chicago femfolk/rock, writes:
1) "Soon Be To Nothing" by Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls.. Why? She's just amazing.. In my opinion, she's one of the most passionate singer-songwriters around.. I wish that I had written ANYTHING that she has written - that would be such an honor..
2) "Red Rain" by Peter Gabriel. Why? I just think the song is incredible. He uses the best choice of words..
3) "Good Mother" by Jann Arden.. It's an amazing song, lyrically and composition wise.. I think it says so much, so simply.
4) "Boys For Pele" by Tori Amos..
5) "Further To Fly" by Paul Simon..
6) "I Hear A Symphony" by the Supremes..
7) "Lady Soul" by the Temptations..
Alex Taylor
A songwriter from the UK, writes:
I wish I had written "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles (George Harrison really). I think it is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. I love the guitar part (as I write my songs on guitar) and it was one of the first songs that really inspired me.

Angela Conlan
A multi-talented, songwriter, singer, and pianist from New Jersey, writes:
I wish I had written "That Name", sung by the wonderful Yolanda Adams. Why? Because the lyrics are brilliant. It takes away my fear of dying. Also, "I Don't Know About Tomorrow", sung by the extremely gifted Kelly Price. The lyrics to this song are the perfect way to tell the world and GOD that I know He's there and I have every bit of faith in Him. Finally, "God's Tryin' To Tell You Somethin'", from the soundtrack of "The Color Purple". GOD speaks to us everyday in many ways. We just have to possess the wisdom to realize when He is trying to tell us something.

Peter
A Guitarist/Songwriter from Adelaide, Australia, writes:
Well, there are so many artists such as The Beatles, U2, R.E.M, Crowded House, Oasis, The Verve, Richard Ashcroft... the list would go on and on. But my ultimate choice would have to be 'Imagine' by John Lennon. This song summarizes the world in a view shared by John and millions all over the world. I wish I had written this song for those reasons, to share my point of view with the rest of the world, and what a view it was.

Aaron Becker
An omnimusician from Maine, writes:
Well, whenever I hear "Facades" by Philip Glass, I almost wish that he hadn't written it, so that I might have been able to. For one matter, the progression is very similar to those that I like to write - changing a single note of a chord, and with that one note, making a minor chord a major chord of a completely different pitch. The effect of the chord change is very emotional, and often dark. This song is so beautiful, and I can only hope that some day I can write something half as beautiful.

"Time", by Pink Floyd, is unquestionably my favourite song. I've listened to it so many times that, although my lead guitar is not good enough to play the solos, I have them completely memorized. I think that, cumulatively, I must have heard this song almost a thousand times, all hyperbole aside. I still love it. It's a slow, beautiful, reflective song, and the combined genius of Waters and Gilmour will never be matched. This is essentially the song that made me want to become a musician. Not for money, not for fame, but because it changed my life. Years back I was depressed, and had even contemplated suicide. After hearing "The Dark Side Of The Moon", and, particularly, "Time", I began writing, and vented my emotions that way. Today, I feel much better about myself. If, someday, I write something that touches just one person as this song has touched me, I will be able to die happily.

Jason Dewitt
A PA songwriter/ singer/ guitarist, writes:
Too many to name just one, but a song like "Iris" From the Goo Goo Dolls is a good example. The perfect balance of a songwriter's introspection, and commercial appeal. The song finds its home in its listeners. They identify with the strong feeling. In addition, the song, being from a movie soundtrack, perfectly holds the scene and is a custom fit to the film. A song inside a movie that is art on art.

A-J
A Songwriting columnist in Montreal, writes:
Déjà Vu: Written by Peter Gabriel, originally for Genesis' Selling England by the Pound, but recorded only 15 years later by Steve Hackett (Watcher of the Skies, Genesis Revisited). Because of the eerie music and the amount of emotion involved.

James Ridener
An experimental singer-songwriter from Texas, writes:
"One of Us Cannot Be Wrong" by Leonard Cohen. The contrast between the subliminaly dark lyrics and the whistful, waltzing music gives me chills every single time I hear it. The perfect song.

Clay Lester
A singer/writer/rapper from KY, writes:
I've just got a soft spot for anything written by a small independent band called U2. I wish I had written U2's One, because it is art with a message. The way it appeals to all of humanity and calls for us to celebrate our individuality by coming together and loving one another, it still gives me a warm feeling inside when I hear it. It's emotion, knowledge, spirituality, and art all mixed in with great music.

John
A twisted teen from Ontario Canada, writes:
I wish I had written "Don't Damn Me" by Guns N' Roses, as it expresses one of the most valid opinions I have ever encountered: You cannot blame someone for being themselves and a product of their life, and you cannot be blamed for the same. To quote the song, "Don't damn me / When I speak a piece of mind / 'Cuz silence isn't golden / When I'm holding it inside"

rollasoc
A UK based songwriter, writes:
"Betrayed" by "The Devlins". This is a b-side off one of their singles but is an excellent track. Really simple and beautiful and summed up my life at the time it came out. Bar that, "Newborn" by "Muse". Single of the year so far.

Danny Fortier
A Singer/Songwriter from Canada, writes:
Dave Mathews - Crash - I love the rhythmic variations and layers of his music. His lyric is one that as you listen, you feel yourself smile....not for reasons you would have expected. Matchbox 20 - Mad Season - Simply for the lines: "If feel stupid, but I know it won't last for long and "I feel ugly, But I know I still turn you on." Can't explain why, they just really work for me.

Jamie Kraft
A young guitarist from BC, Canada, writes:
More Than A Feeling by Boston The chorus is so uplifting and intense. It's just an awesome song to listen to.

Travis
An amateur songwriter, musician from VA, writes:
"Don't Dream It's Over" - Crowded House Lyrics by Neil Finn. Because the lyrics are what great writing is all about: weaving layers of meaning together with carefully choosen words that don't seem carefully chosen. And because the chorus still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
Erik Kittley
A songwriter/guitarist from West Texas, writes:
I wish I had written Tony Arata's The Dance (performed by Garth Brooks). Not only because it's a beautiful and meaningful song, but also because it crosses culture gaps in music. It is a timeless song that will mean the same to anyone who hears it, whether they're 10 or 50. It sparks that little something inside you that brings memories flowing through your mind. Outstanding song.
Dug Folkins
A Singer/songwritter from Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, writes:
Shelter From The Storm"-Bob Dylan. Powerful, moving and constantly changing images. Each listen gives a different sensation depending on the listener's mood. My favourite all time lyric "In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes. I bargained for salvation and they gave me a lethal dose. I offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn. "Come in" she said "I'll give you shelter from the storm".
David R.
A jazz musician/composer from Toronto, England, writes:
There's a lot of songs I wish I'd written. "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" and "Boogie Stop Shuffle" by Charles Mingus; the first is a beautiful lamenting ballad tribute to Lester Young, and the second is an uptempo burning blues. I also really love a lot of the tunes on John Scofield's new album, "Works For Me." They are some great straightahead jazz tunes, great grooves and harmonically very pretty. As far as pop music goes, the Grateful Dead's "Black Muddy River" has a beautiful lyric and is a very simple ballad; very heartwrenching. And I wish I could come up with anything Steely Dan has ever written, including "Aja" and "Pretzel Logic."
Anon
A writer and artist from New York, writes:
This is difficult to answer in a short response so I'll just pick a few..."Love and Affection" by Joan Armatrading, because it meant a lot to me when I heard it-- she found a way to express feelings that I wanted to express, but couldn't like she does... "The Hurricane" by Bob Dylan because it raised awareness about an event but still had staying power years later and I'm envious of that talent... In fact, many of Dylan's songs leave me in awe of his talent with playing with words...I love "Subterranean Homesick Blues" ...and getting a message across..."Gates of Eden"...it's hard to say exactly why I admire them so much--except that they make me put my pen down and say wow!

Tara
A vocalist and student from England, Canada, writes:
I wish that I had written Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden. The song is so deep and meaningful, in a way everyone can relate to - it would be amazing to have affected so many people with a song written frm your own heart, and then beng able to share that feeling.

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