Stuck singing the same old tune? That’s so last season, isn’t it? Now, it’s all about living life as it’s never been done before, the way only you can, as Austin-based singer songwriter Amy Edwards attests
Ah, springtime. Everywhere we look, renewal is happening. We see the trees sprouting their small, green leaves… again. The flowers beginning to bud and blossom… like they have a million times before. The birds sing their dutiful tunes. Animals mate, just like they do every year, and the earth rotates, just as we’ve seen all our lives. Everything is new, and yet… it’s not new at all.
Spring is busy doing the same thing it always does. We know this familiar scene, because it’s a continuing cycle that’s been done too many times to count. Spring isn’t thinking about a new way to do anything. It’s going through the motions. Nature compels the earth, and it obeys, as it moves through the familiar process.
But what about us? Are we, too, going through the motions, doing just what we’ve done before? Do we get stuck in a cycle of sameness, just as nature and those trees and flowers become another version of what they were before? It’s easy to slip into that comfortable loop of restarting and renewing, but something about all that makes me feel… tired. Do we want to be another version of what we’ve already been? I don’t even really want to wear the same dress twice. The thought of “re”-anything makes me feel like it’s been done, like it’s a place I’ve been before; a song we’ve all heard too many times.
As a songwriter, I recognize that there’s really nothing truly new to be said. But there are always new ways to say it. I have studied songwriting over the last few years, and I’ve literally sat at the feet of individuals who are great at it and have hit records. I’ve learned that there’s one thing they all have in common: you take what’s been said a million other times and you say it in a new, fresh way. It’s the same with screenwriting or books or anything we create. When you look the bones and the basics, the stories are tried and true. But it’s how we say it – using the voice that only we have – that sheds new light and brings a uniqueness and originality to it.
Currently, I’m working on a new song. It’s a drinking song. Oh, Amy! That’s not even close to new! That’s been done to death! Yes, I know. You’re right. Can I even call it new? And if I wanted to write a love song, or a song about heartbreak, haven’t those, too, been done until we’d think the subject is beyond tired? And yet “new,” “original” songs come out every day, and my bet is that we’ll never tire of hearing the way Adele thinks of novel ways to say she’s in love, or the opposite. Because she knows, and I know, that each of us holds our own context: a freshness, a unique je ne sais quoi; we hold a creation that is our own, and no one else’s.
Spring is about just that: freshness. As spring does what it does, and we do what we do in the motions of daily life, we strive for freshness. Freshness is what keeps us vibrant. Freshness, and hearing or seeing something in a brand-new way, even when it’s an age-old story, makes life feel new and can open our eyes to a different perspective, open our hearts and minds in an unfamiliar way.
And isn’t that the goal? A new version of ourselves? Whether it’s our bodies, our thoughts, our hearts, or our careers, the thought of becoming stale and stagnant is never the desired outcome. But rather, just like the songwriter, we come up with a new version, and a new composition, a purpose and approach that only we can devise and discover and share. Any time is a time we can start fresh. “Re”-anything isn’t where it’s at. As we think about being a new version, and singing a new song, make it just that: NEW. Not a rehash of what was, not a recycled version of the old, not a flower that blooms the same way every time. Sure, it’s all been done before. But not like this. Not like our fresh, rocking way that we can dial into our everyday lives.