Songs with a Mind of their Own

So I thought that songs were sort of under the control of the songwriter. To a large extent, whenever I had an idea for a song,  I began there with that idea and more or less followed it through to completion. On the other hand, I have heard that writers of fiction sometimes follow their characters to wherever they lead. Not the author leading the character, but the character leading the author. I believed that too, and thought that could easily happen in fiction—as,  even a short story has many more words than I do, as a songwriter, at my disposal. More words—the more frequent the opportunity for characters to speak for themselves. My songs are usually of the three-verses-one-chorus variety, sometimes with a bridge. So, relative to a novel, a dearth of words.

Writing for my second CD has proved me wrong. Sometimes a song really wants to go in a different direction than I had planned. Like a dog on a lovely winter’s walk that will simply not follow the path…gently tugging and moving off the trail, though quite insistently, to go where I have no idea until I get there. I have been pleasantly surprised.