Before the Words

By Donna Ulisse –
I love being a happy girl. I’m most comfortable in this state and annoyingly willing to share my joy through positive songs that I write and perform. Lately, my Snow White approach to daily life has been smudged by friends going through personal crises and loss and has left me hurting for them. Don’t get me wrong, my life is not so charmed that I whiz past any personal sorrow or that I haven’t had my own kinds of heartache.  I have, oh, I have, and maybe that is why I am able to take on someone else’s anguish. I tend to borrow heartache every now and then. In fact, my first bluegrass CD was filled with thoughts of a good friend’s divorce and teardrops. Shameful, I know, but a real treasure trove for my song catalog and the launching pad for my bluegrass career. I thank her to this day for letting me sing out her broken heart.
Saying Good Bye
This past winter season was an especially tough one, cold, icy and long. The frigid months gathered up some dear, old friends and escorted them into the great beyond. Saying goodbye to cherished parts of my past is never an easy chore and as years go by this task hits harder and harder – sad emotions that turn my pen and paper into therapy. Not only have I lost friends but also I have had to watch a sweet friend go through the loss of her child. I can’t think of a sadder thing. It puts life out of order somehow. This particular friend has had a large portion of heavy loss and this was more than a shoulder should have to bear.
In my writer’s heart, I tried to imagine what my friend was feeling. If this had happened to me I would not be able to see the sun shining even on the sunniest, warmest of days. In my mind my heart would turn wintery. We have all been told that at some point there will be a thaw but when in the throes of this kind of heartbreak, I don’t imagine seeing past the gray, cold sorrow.  I took all of this imagery and all the sadness I felt for my friend and turned it into song. I’d like to share what I came up with and let you see how I see heartache.
Date Of Creation
Underneath the title and my name you will notice the date. Before the date you will see DOC. This stands for date of creation. Heading your songs just the way you see mine is a good habit to get into as you write your songs. The date of creation is important for a few reasons: you or your publishing house will need to record this date for copyright enrollment, and if there are ever any legal issues you will certainly need proof of when you composed your song.