February 2020 Assignment

Write a song in a single sitting

Sound difficult? You might be surprised to learn that some very popular songs were written during single sessions of explosive imagination.

Feel free to cheat a little by including song ideas that have been stewing for a while. This assignment isn’t as much about stream-of-consciousness songwriting as it is about training your brain to maintain focus on a single expression through completion. Don’t worry about writing a “great” song. Just write a song.

Genius: Songs written in one sitting

NME: 30 Minutes Or Less! 19 Famous Songs Written At Staggering Speed

(Note: This account of the writing of “Yesterday” is misleading. McCartney says he woke up with the melody in his mind, hence the speedwriting described here. In fact, The Beatle thought it sounded familiar and for weeks played it for people asking if they had heard it. When he realized it was original, he fiddled with the lyrics for another couple of weeks (“scrambled eggs”) until it was finished. “Yesterday” is the world’s most recorded and most performed song.)