Monthly Archives: March 2014

Everything is copy; finding songwriting inspiration

Songwriting inspiration can come from the strangest places
Where to find songwriting inspiration.

It’s one of those questions that any writer gets regularly: where do you find inspiration? It appears that writing is one thing, but finding what to write about, that’s the real challenge. Songwriting is no different. Some people can write about anything – Nora Ephron’s mother  famously taught her: “everything is copy”. I’m not quite the same, but I do find inspiration in unexpected places. Here is what inspires me the most.

History
I’d say a good 75% of my songs concern historical people and events. I wrote my first serious song about Mary Boleyn, a 16th century noble woman with a tumultuous love life. I also have (partially) written songs about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Boudicca, Catherine of Aragon, Juana of Castile and Anne Boleyn. Their dramatic lives make for far more interesting songs than my mundane little life. Don’t think I just cut and paste their biographies into songs though – I like to use my imagination to explore how they might have felt. Even an intimidating woman like Eleanor of Aquitaine must have had fears and dreams.

Continue reading Everything is copy; finding songwriting inspiration

Busking is awesome, let me tell you why

About a year ago, I started busking. In fact, I need to renew my license this month! Although I had a bit of a rocky start, I adore busking now. It gets me out of the house, playing music I love. Sometimes I meet nice people and make a bit of money on the side as well. What’s not to love?

Lydia de Leeuw: busking in Utrecht
Busking in Utrecht! Photo by Nico Arkesteijn.

I could elaborate for you. In fact, that’s what I did in a post I wrote last year for Offbeat Home & Life (incidentally, one of my favourite blogs that you should totally check out):

I’m not here to give you busking tips; I haven’t got nearly enough experience for that yet. No, I just want to explain to you why busking is AWESOME, and why you should consider doing it if you play an instrument (or have other performance skills).

Curious yet? Then go and read the rest of the post, entitled Why you should try busking; Yes, even you! over at Offbeat Home & Life. And do share your thoughts, either at OBHL or right here. What do you think about buskers? Would you ever consider busking yourself?