Story Challenge Day 23: Midnight Lyrics

Last night I woke up and song lyrics came into my mind:

I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm, continuing,
Tapping on my roof and walls

“Kathy’s Song.” Simon and Garfunkel. It was, for a time, my very favorite song. I taught myself to play it on guitar.

And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies.

Question is, why? I mean, it was raining when I woke up last night. And rain, I see, can get that song going in my head. But it took over my sleep. I spent the rest of the night in and out of dreams, drafting a blog post around those words. The rest of the night (and much of my day today) was centered around those lines. I had no idea what I was going to write today, only that I was compelled to shape it around a song I loved and left behind.

My mind’s distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you’re asleep
And kiss you when you start your day.

So today, I knew that the only thing I’d be able to do was to set Simon’s words to the screen and see what would happen. I didn’t have any other choice. It’s almost as though the muse I had called for decided she was going to show up, unannounced, for her first day at work, regardless of whether or not I hired her. (She may or may not have also missed the memo about not waking me up.)

And the song that I was writing is left undone
I don’t know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can’t believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme.

Oh. So.

Now I see it.

There’s a certain amount of heart that goes into writing, a measurable chunk of myself that deserves to be placed into all I do. If not, it’s probably not worth the effort. I’m also going to go out on a limb and guess the same holds true for everything I do.


And so, you see, I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you.

Muse, 1. Lainie, 0.

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

21 thoughts on “Story Challenge Day 23: Midnight Lyrics

    1. Thanks! It’s strange, because this wasn’t what I planned on writing about – but after last night, I just couldn’t…NOT…write about it.

  1. During Laura Shovan’s February Poem Project some of the daily prompts were song-related. I loved the way you structured your slice and the muse brought inspiration, even though she was unannounced. BTW: when a song pops into my head, it remains there for a few days.

    1. Thank you! And…oh, I know what you mean about songs remaining in my head for days at a time. Sometimes I actually have to sing the thing in its entirety to get it unstuck!

  2. Maybe your muse was auditioning, showing you what she is capable of. Sometimes thoughts, quotes, song lyrics enter our head demanding acknowledgement and wanting to be written. The format doesn’t matter. the message being conveyed isn’t as important as getting the words out there. In putting them down on paper we often discover a truth about ourselves, as you obviously did.

    1. Ooohhhh….maybe THIS was the interview. Or that dumb power point they make so many candidates do all the time.

      And you’re so very right about truth that comes to us in the writing. It’s amazing how that happens – fills me with wonder every. Darn. TIME.

  3. Way to go taking something you thought of in the middle of the night…!
    I love how you weave the lyrics in with your words – and the truth comes out as the slice goes on – which is my favorite magic power of writing.

    1. Thank you! And yes, that IS the power of writing, how it surprises us in the process of revelation like that. I mean, you’d think the words would all be in my head, so it wouldn’t be expected. And yet. Surprises abound…

  4. This is a cool entry. It’s mysterious. In some ways the lyrics are so unsure and doubting, while your words are more hopeful…or maybe it’s just that your words are showing what is hopeful inside those lyrics. I’m often trying to figure out what triggered a song that pops into my head in the morning. I hadn’t considered that the words were meant to lead to my own writing…that they were meant to be the cause, not the effect. I may have to try that approach.

    1. Thank you! You know, it’s strange. The only thing I knew from my dreaming-tossing-turning adventure last night was that I was compelled to use the lyrics as a base and work from there. There were actually several ideas that came to me, but surprisingly none of them showed their faces when it actually came time to compose. Creativity is weird that way, I guess..

  5. I woke up in the middle of the night to pen a possible cheer that came to me hours before we were to share them with the team representing the Netherlands at our school’s mock Olympics. We never used them because they ended up being too elaborate to pull off with a group of 1st-8th graders in a span of 10 minutes before heading to the gym as we chanted. Thank goodness for the PE Coach who had a simple “Hye-dee Hye-dee Hye-dee High!” cheer up his sleeve for us.

  6. So, do you think you’ll keep this Muse for a trial period? On retainer? (Not that you really have a say in the matter…). Such a lively, entertaining post – and reflective. Now, of course, an old, old rain song is playing in MY head, or on it, rather: Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head…boy was THAT a long time ago… :O

    1. Well, I guess I’m with her for a while, is my guess. I think she also seems like a pretty wise soul, leading me to one inspiration but not spelling it all out for me…

      And now…thank you. Now I have *another* song running through my head…

  7. Ah, the great writing reveal. We begin not knowing where we will end up. Pretty cool that the Muse visited in the form of a song. Nice job!

    1. Thank you! I’ve yet to completely harness the middle-of-the-night energy, but this one in particular had me by the collar.

  8. Oh sweet summer child! You may have been thinking Calliope would apply to that job posting, but this sounds like Clio, the muse of History who plays a lyre, is the one who shook you wake here. When it comes to Muse, be careful what you even jokingly ask for, indeed.

    I love it!

  9. Muses and memory work in mysterious, yet magical ways. Thanks for rolling with the compulsions of both!

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