You can’t hear this Ann Song
But I can. Sometimes I page through my old spiral notebooks and take a walk back in time. I see my words, the chord scribblings in the margins, and I can even hear myself singing some of the songs. Today was one of those times. As I looked at the lyrics to my Ann Song, I could see myself at the piano in the basement of my college dormitory.
My Ann Song wasn’t about anyone I knew.
I never dated Ann. In fact, I don’t recall ever truly knowing an Ann. My English composition professor in college was a young woman from England named Anne. But we never had more than a teacher/student relationship. So, I think maybe Ann because the subject of my song because of how I could punctuate the chorus with the sound of the name.
And I remember how enthralled I had become with minor chords. This Ann song was basically in the key of D flat minor. Looking at my chord scribblings, I see also A, A flat, and D flat minor 5th. But all that means nothing compared to the sounds in my head.
Those vocal echoes off the basement cinder block walls. The reverberation of the little upright piano. And the staccato pronunciation of Ann, Ann, Ann. I never dreamed, in those solo hours, how some day I’d be thinking way back to then. It was just my time to learn the piano and my new-found love for songwriting.
I won’t take you any further down memory lane on this. But I’ll share the lyrics to the Ann song, and you can get a glimpse into my songwriting origins…
The nights are long…the skies are dark,
But I find my way to her heart.
Her bedroom light is shining out
Onto my face…onto the ground.
Ann, Ann, Ann…dark and dreary.
Ann, Ann, Ann…sad and somber.
Why, why, why must you never see me?
Has someone else stolen you away?
Her shadow moves behind the window.
I fall to my knees and I weep.
For I’m so close and yet so far.
Without her love I’m so far.
Where would I be now, if I had never loved?
If I had lived my life alone,
Where would I be now?