The Pros Always Have Another Song

I’m in the midst of a project that involves lots of Great American standards. George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Rodgers & Hart.

Timeless music that has been interpreted and reinterpreted for close to a century.

Here’s the thing. When they were working, they were writing. You never get the feeling that they would finish a song and feel blocked.

George Gershwin didn’t finish “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and need a month before he had inspiration. Harold Arlen wrote “Over The Rainbow” and went right on.

One part of this was deadlines – they were all working on movies or musicals that had schedules. But part is mindset.

They trusted that there were more songs to write. Not every song would be “My Funny Valentine” but they would keep writing.

No one song meant everything to the songwriter. Get it out and write another. This isn’t peculiar to Tin Pan Alley – this mindset has characterized professional artists across time.

Writers write. Composers compose. Painters paint.

The pros always have another song.