My wife and I were marriage pups, clearing off a section of 40-acres for our home site.
We needed to find where the best place was to drill for water.
For grins, my dad summoned a local guy who claimed he was a water witch.
You know, walks around holding a “Y” shaped stick as if on a huge Ouija board waiting for the cosmos to point the stick at the ground, EXACTLY where the water is.
I didn’t go much for that kind of stuff, but ah, what the “h,” I went along with it for a laugh.
This guy comes over, breaks off a green branch in the shape of a “Y,” and half snaps a couple 3-inch pieces at the ends of the “V” part.
Kind of like handlebars.
Follow so far?
He grabs the two little handle bars with the pointed end of the “Y” pointing straight out in front of him, and starts walking around.
So he’s in front of me zig-zagging around like some drunken voo-doo king, and I’m walking backwards behind him… winking to my dad and my wife… with my smiling eyes and hand over mouth suppressing a laugh.
The idea is where there is water, the pointy end of the stick will swing directly at the ground as you approach the ideal point.
This dude’s branch swoops towards the ground and he said here’s your spot to drill.
I looked at him mockingly and said, “Yeah right.”
I was joking around, but also serious. I didn’t believe this guy for one minute.
He hands the stick to me and says, “You try it.”
I did, and just like I thought, nothing happened.
“See?” I told him.
“Try it again ,” he says, “and make sure you’re not gripping the stick too tightly.”
I did. Again nothing.
Here’s the spooky part.
He told me to grab the stick again. He comes along side me and puts his thumbs on the inside of my wrist and we started walking.
And I’ll be damned, when we walked that friggin’ stick started to spin in my hands with the end pointing towards the ground at the same spot it did for him.
Now, I wasn’t born yesterday, and I was sure to not let my wrists twist or arms spread to narrow the stick creating spring action to turn the twig downward.
Paranormal to me is finding a set of keys in my hands after searching the entire house for a half-hour.
I made him do it again. It was the spookiest thing. It worked.
But it worked only when he had his hands on my wrists.
To this day, I can’t explain it.
You might think I’m full of shyte, but… I can still feel that stick mysteriously spinning in my palms as we walked.
Two songwriting things and then I’ll let you out a here.
First. That memory is very vivid. Like I say, I can still feel that stick twisting in my palms, right this second even typing here.
If you can get a song of yours to cause a vivid memory like that for someone? That is a wonderful thing. Granted, the powerful memory has to do with a strong emotional moment too, but, you still need identifiable lyrics to link it up for them.
Our songs play an important role in people’s lives and memories. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE their importance, or yours as a songwriter.
Secondly, you don’t have to be some kind of song witch to drill up a great song lyric.
Like this month. Method #5 in this issue of Tune Booster shows how you can take a powerful line from a favorite song of yours, and make it your own.
It won’t look anything like the original, but it can easily be just as powerful in mere seconds.
In all of my years of writing and talking with pro writers and workshops, I don’t recall anyone teaching this particular step before.
Thing is, you’ll get stuff like this every issue for a lousy $0.10 a day.
From songwriter Chris Gimm…
“I am a better songwriter because of you. I have learned how to take input and how to give it – from you. I introduce myself to new people as a Songwriter first – and then an Engineer next – because of you. You have made a “real” difference to me, as I hope those real examples I just gave show, and there are more.”
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