This interview from American Songwriter Magazine, Paul Simon On Songwriting: I Know What I Know, is the best one I have ever read on songwriting – not how-to but the personal experience of writing a song.
I identify with so much of what Simon writes here – the way certain lines come out of the blue, the way meaning evolves over time. Sometimes it feels otherworldly – like the song already exists and just reveals itself. Other times it’s laborious work, digging and digging for it until it is finally uncovered.
I am in no way suggesting that I am in the same league as Paul Simon as a songwriter. But the experience that he describes? That is exactly the same.
Paul Simon’s new album is So Beautiful Or So What.