A Young Girl Was Laughing (by the window)

peter j stein

A new tune often emerges from a powerful inner struggle, during which time the song is written and recorded. The album cover painting, by friend and colleague Allan H. Gelber, Ph.D., serves as the perfect window into the heart of life.

"A Young Girl Was Laughing (by the window)" is a tune that emerged while writing a different song, a sequence which often typifies my songwriting. Usually, I am struggling with a melody and lyrics, when, suddenly, a new melody comes to mind, utterly different from the first one, and the "real" song emerges from the struggle, within a few hours; the lyrics appear spontaneously, almost in full, and there is an emotional catharsis, that I have a new song for myself: to listen to privately, to share with my friends, and to expose to the world market, that others may express interest my creation. Of note, the first take, of both the vocals and the instrumentals, often end up as the most compelling, and the song literally resists further changes, but for a few minor corrections. In this song, "A Young Girl Was Laughing (by the window)", I attempted at one juncture, to record a new lead vocal, and the software stubbornly refused to cooperate; first there was noisy static and the mic would not function; then, the track reverb would not allow me to adjust the vocal, according to my tastes (I love the sound of reverb as if I were singing in the Grand Canyon). These obstacles then guided me to stay with my initial lead vocal, only to add a touch of harmony, at the first and last line of each verse; and, according to my very personal tastes, this was the "touch" that was lacking. Upbeat tunes do not move me; my preference is the melodic and harmonic beauty of the ballads that I internalized as a young person. Such ballads include: Yesterday (Beatles); Catch The Wind (Donovan); As Tears Go By (performed by Marianne Faithful; Rolling Stones); Long, Long Time (performed by Linda Ronstadt); Walk Away Rene (performed by The Left Banke); Hello In There (John Prine); Maybe Tomorrow (Badfinger); Something In Red (performed by Lorrie Morgan); Secret Gardens (Judy Collins); Dangling Conversation (Paul Simon); Song For Adam (Jackson Browne); Visions of Johanna (Bob Dylan); Sweet Baby James (James Taylor); and, more recently, Always On Your Side (Sheryl Crow). There are countless talented songwriters of beautifully written ballads, performed by the most superb artists; these songs are of low volume; their appeal lies in their softness, simplicity, subtlety, sadness, and sincerity; and the excellence of the audio engineering is also a vital ingredient to the song's success...pjs

Read more… close