The third category is called the Glitter Gel Pen and it lives up to its name in every way. Mindless, carefree, bouncy, perfectly synchronized with the beat. Glitter Gel Pen’s words don’t matter if you don’t take them seriously because they don’t take themselves too seriously. Glitter Gel Pen lyrics are the drunk girl at the party who tells you you look like an angel in the shower. This is what we need from time to time in these difficult times we live in.
Example: “My ex-man brought his new girlfriend; she’s like ‘Oh my God’ but I’m just going to shiver and to the fella over there with her gorgeous hair, won’t she come over the baby we can shake and shake and shake.”
You ask why I made these classes? Because I love doing this thing, we’re lucky enough to call a job. Writing songs is my life’s work, my hobby, and my endless excitement. I have been moved beyond words that you, my fellows, have decided to honor me in this way for my work which I would still do if I had not been acknowledged at all.
Recently I was on a fun trip down memory lane. I have re-recorded my first six albums. As I go through the process of meticulously recreating every element of the past and revisiting songs I wrote when I was 13, 14, and 15, this track leads me straight to music class. How would my mother pick me up from school and drive me into co-writing sessions with dozens of writers (and some of you are in this room tonight) who decided 15 years ago to give me their time, wisdom, and faith before anyone thought writing with me was a productive afternoon use. I will never forget you, every single one of you.
Part of my re-recording included adding songs that never made the original albums, but songs that I hated leaving behind. I went back and recorded a bunch of them for my copy of my albums. fearless, my novel, came out last year, and while I was choosing songs for it, I came across a song I had written with the Warren brothers when I was 14. I decided to record it as a duet with the brilliant Keith Urban. When I called the Warrens to tell them I was cutting our song 17 years after I wrote it, I’ll never forget the first thing they said. “Well, I think this is the longest comment we’ve ever had.”
In 2011, just over ten years ago, collaborator and trusted Liz Rose came to my apartment and showed her a song I was working on. I was having a hard time (as is the norm of being 21) and wrote line after verse after verse, a song that was too long to fit on the album. It was recorded in about 10 minutes. We proceeded with adjusting, trimming, and cutting out large sections until it was 5 minutes 30 seconds. It was called “all is well”. Last year when I re-recorded my 2012 album red, I’ve included this 10-minute version with its original verses and additional bridges. I never would have imagined when we wrote it that that song would come back in ten years or that I’d be about to play it for you tonight.
But a song can defy logic or time. A good song conveys you to your innermost feelings and translates those feelings for you. A good song stays with you even when people or feelings don’t. Writing songs is a calling and calling it your profession makes you very lucky. You have to be grateful every day for that, and all the people who thought your words were worth listening to. This city is the school that taught me that
To be honored by you means more than any kind of words can say.
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