Every song we hear reminds us of a special moment, incident or person in our lives. Songs are also a reflection of our times. And nothing tells that better than the 101 songs in "Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song." Each, in its own way, tells us a story about the songwriters' inspirations from their life experiences. Sometimes, songs reflect history, emotional struggles, and the social state of the world in its day. One thing that remains a childlike thrill is that moment when we hear a special, memorable, magical song...
Long-time industry veteran Jo-Ann Geffen, has completed a wonderful book in celebration of the songwriters and their songs-those gifted artists who have created some of the most meaningful words and music...In "Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song," Geffen has called upon some of the greatest songwriters to unveil their unique inspiration behind some of the most well-known songs ever recorded.
Discover how tunesmiths reveal that they are simply the messengers of storytelling, that their songs come to them in some mystical way, perhaps in a dream, that their music and lyrics are a spiritual event. Personal reflections have universally prompted songs from the heart and soul of an artist's experience. Melissa Etheridge reveals when she reflected back on penning "Come To My Window," "I was sitting there with a huge scar on my chest where they literally removed the blackness from the cancer. I realized how powerful words are. As I craft songs, I have a responsibility. Words and music go beyond lyrics or thoughts-they go straight to the soul." Kanye West's innermost desires are magnified as he describes his emotional turmoil that led to writing "Welcome to Heartbreak," "You have to put time and effort into a relationship with the right person and you have to be with the right person to have a family. Being number one is great and I want that but I also want to chase other dreams in my life." From Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting," to Janis Ian's "At Seventeen," to Rick Nelson's "Garden Party," or Jewel's "Hands," the stories are always honest and often heart-wrenching. Was there really a "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" as described by Jim Croce?
There are songs as musical tributes, both professional as well as personal as in the Commodores' Walter Orange co-penned "Nightshift," honoring Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson. While other songs explore themes of challenges, of the ability to test one's tenacity and belief in oneself, one of the consistent story threads throughout the book is the tireless belief and commitment to the creative process... scribbling titles and sentences on matchbook covers, napkins, slips of paper, where they can often be re-discovered sitting in drawers or wallets or pockets for days, months or even years, before being nurtured and honed into the unforgettable hit songs we all know and love.
In the book's foreword, songwriting legend Lamont Dozier, whose monster hits by the Supremes, "Stop! In The Name of Love" and "Where Did Our Love Go" are included, shares his insight: "When a songwriter finally decides on joining the melodies and the lyrics together to form a new song, not only does the marriage have to be perfect for the feeling of the song to stick with the listener, but also the art of expressing oneself in this manner takes courage and faith."
The book is a perfect gift or a wonderful treat for anyone who loves music as much as we do.The author and many artists are available for interviews.