My voice teacher, Kimberly has a beautiful collection of fairy sculptures. I added the crystal ball using the magic of Photoshop.

My voice teacher, Kimberly has a beautiful collection of fairy sculptures. I added the crystal ball using the magic of Photoshop.

hope: confidence, desire, want, expectation, optimism, anticipation

Click the blue link below to hear music that touches me deeply. I have not yet written song lyrics for it, but I’m hoping to soon.

HOPING – Song in Progress–Copyright 2014 by Judy Unger


I always looked forward to my weekly sessions with George. I was not up to writing anything new and we had started working on a new arrangement for an older song the week before. But I wasn’t too excited about it.

A few days earlier, I fooled around with an old instrumental thinking perhaps it would inspire me to compose a new song. But it didn’t. Then I remembered another old song. It was actually the only song I wanted to erase from my repertoire and was named “If You Should See Me.”

That song did have some nice verse chords, but I intensely disliked the lyrics. It was about my regret over breaking up with an old boyfriend and wondering how I’d feel if I saw him again.

When I recorded “If You Should See Me” in 2010, I used the same lyrics I wrote as a young girl. I worked from an old song sheet and didn’t remember the chorus at all. When I recorded the song, the chorus melody seemed monotonous.

I printed out the chords and played them on my guitar. I was surprised; it turned out that the verse lyrics seemed applicable to my current life. They expressed my confusion. Instead of an old boyfriend, maybe I was wondering if I’d ever feel better – would I see well again without pain?

I reworked them slightly below:

Wading through marshes

I came to work with George. It was a beautiful day and I walked from my car with my eyes closed; the sunlight was painful. George smiled and asked me what we would be working on.

I told him that I didn’t feel like finishing the song we had started last week. Instead, I mentioned that I had a possible song we could rework into something completely new. I had verses but needed some help for the chorus; I wanted completely new chords.

George’s eyes twinkled with the look he often gets when he feels a musical challenge. He started playing the verse chords on his piano and goose bumps began popping out on my arms. It didn’t take long before those verses were simply magnificent. His piano and guitar lines danced with the lovely waltz rhythm.

I wanted the chorus to be very different from the verses. George began to experiment with many interesting chord progressions. If I liked what he did I yelped, “That’s it!”

Line by line the chorus chords slowly formed. We finally reached the last line of the chorus. George played several choices for me, but none of them seemed to work. Then as he was playing I said, “Stop! Right there – that hangs and I want it to be the final chord. It’s totally unresolved and I love how it sounds!”

I was brimming with excitement and so glad we had begun working on something new.

George and I created an introduction that I could easily hear as a new song by itself. I loved it so much that I decided it would also make a perfect ending. On our last new arrangement for “Laughter and Tears” his introduction was so beautiful that we used it for the solo portion of that song.

I had no idea that an old song I disliked could inspire this! In four hours we managed to finish a good portion of the song. George said, “Jude, what shall I name the file in order to save it?”

I really had no idea since I hadn’t written the new lyrics for it. I read him some of the former lyric lines I had thought of keeping; those lines were about my search to feel better.

I said, “George, I know it sounds like another sad song. I do want my song to be hopeful because I say, “I’m hoping I’ll find you again.”

Melody and crystal ball 1

George smiled and said, “Sis, you are one of the most hopeful people I know. For now, let’s just call it Hoping!”

I didn’t mind that at all. I left our session with a new recording I treasured. I found myself composing a melody and as I hummed it, my heart was lifted into the heavens.

Late that night, I wrote out some possible lyrics.

I look at the mountains

Those words above were simple. I felt like expressing how looking at nature was uplifting. I wanted to feel God in order to conquer my uncertainty. But after writing those lines above, I couldn’t decide what my message was going to be for the part of the song that was the most important.

Those words fell on the last line of the chorus; a background choir’s sweet notes hung over unresolved chords.

I wrote a few lines and had to stop. My words were very depressing and not hopeful at all!

God help me try

A few days later, I returned to George to continue working on the arrangement. I said to George, “You’re not going to like some lyrics I came up with. They’re very dark.”

George said, “The music is not sad at all and I’d like to see you write something truly uplifting. Then he added with complete candor, “Jude, if you use the word pain in this song I’m going to slap you!”

I couldn’t believe it – I had used that word; how did he know? Now I remembered how he hadn’t liked the word pain in the last song I wrote either.

Unfortunately, the theme of pain was concurrent with my life. What was also there was extreme empathy for friends of mine who were suffering with pain. My friend, Marilyn had multiple myeloma. Another dear friend, Magda had been tormented by MS for many years and it only continued to get worse.

I crumpled up my lyrics and figured I’d try again. After all, the possible name for this beautiful song was “Hoping.”

Somehow I just knew I would find a way to write words to grace the beautiful music and it would help heal my aching soul.


I think about life

© 2014 by Judy Unger http://www.myjourneysinsight.com.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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