Songwriting; moving on when the past still moves you

‘Moving on’ is such an overused phrase.  It also doesn’t usually work unless you stop in one place with the feelings you are trying to escape, first.

I’m in the process of finishing the third in a set of songs I’ve written about this very subject.

Songs live in my head and my heart for a while before I can sing them out and complete the process.

I usually write the piano part first, and then the melody comes out of playing the piano riff and the lyrics follow.

I know that it is a ‘real’ song developing when I don’t have to try too hard with the words and the melody. If they come easily and almost knowing what they want to say without me having to be involved I know it is right. I’m not a patient person generally, but I have be patient with my songwriting self because she does things in her own time in what can seem a slow creative process.

There is nothing more satisfying than the first time I sing a new song through and it has ‘settled’ into a story of sounds and feelings strung together coherently.

Singing it out is by far the best therapy I’ve ever experienced and it can also take me closer to an answer or a next step forward.

Moving on isn’t really it, actually. I prefer being, now.

This way life isn’t all about what is happening next but focussing on living in the moment!

Watch this space – I hope to record the new sounds soon……


Claire Cameron on Hunstanton Beach

About ‘How Could You’ Claire Cameron’s new single

Sometimes life does not go to plan. Sometimes it happens to you and there is a decision to be made – allow it to be in control of you or take back control of it and make something good come out of bad.

Recently life has not been what I ordered, what I wanted or how I planned it. I’ve had a lot of questions for fate, God whoever makes the wheels spin and things happen. I’ve asked ‘why me?’, I’ve railed against fact and tried to argue with the unnacceptable, when what I really need to do is accept that life is a rich tapestry of tough and difficult as well as happy and enjoyable and ‘move on’. This is such an over-used phrase but maybe that is for a reason – it is the only way to try and put into words what to do next after crisis; dwelling in the bad stuff won’t help get to the good. However acknowledging that you are feeling awful and letting the emotion out is vital. I don’t think it matters how this is done – through music, exercise, talking to a friend or family member or counselling – it just matters that it comes out and doesn’t get suppressed.

So ‘How Could You‘ is for anyone who has felt any of the above, now or before and been left challenging the empty sky and asking ‘why me?’ I’m trying to stop asking that now – ‘how could this happen?’, ‘why me?’ – I’m moving towards finding the better out of worse and hopefully staying there. Life happens though – I’d rather choose to happen with it rather than letting it happen to me from now on. I am here, I have my music and in this new song I’ve put the feelings that sometimes have to come out so I’m not left stuck inside them.

Mental health was already in the news when I started writing this song; since I’ve finished it two musicians I respected have taken their own lives. This makes me feel so sad and underlines just how vital it is to treat mental health like any other illness – there should be no shame or stigma attached to it. It is no different to getting treatment for cancer or a broken leg – at least it should not be seen as different in my opinion. It is so important to support each other and help anyone who is feeling depressed to talk and feel truly heard, not just listened to.

A big thank you to Neil Sadler at No Machine for not only recording, mixing and producing the single but for his excellent guitar and bass parts. Thank you to Scott Hunter for nailing the drums and Tom Hunter for the atmospheric strings. It was a pleasure to work with all of you and I feel like ‘How Could You’ was really brought to life by your performances.

Thank you to Helen Barlow-Scott of One Line Studio for the perfect Cover Art.

I hope you like the song – it is certainly a cathartic one to sing.

CC x

Listen and Download ‘How Could You’ below:

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