Friday, 23 August 2013

My Top Ten Writing A Novel Songs

As you'll notice if you turn your eyes a few centimetres to the right of this post, my novel I Wish, Wish, Wish You Were Dead, Dead, Dead is finally available for download to your kindle, tablet or e-book reading device of your choice. (With thanks to Davey for the smashing cover.)

Any excuse for a Top Ten...

10. Fryars - Novelist's Wife

There are a lot of unhappy novelists out there...

9. Paul Simon - Rewrite

We write. Then we rewrite. Then we rewrite some more. There comes a point you have to stop working on the rewrite and just let your book go...

8. Lloyd Cole - Writer's Retreat

Lloyd's lady spends more time on her book than with him. He's not sticking around...
You can get a beat from a broken heart
You could write the book while falling apart
You can have it all save the one you want
Going for a song
7. Teddy Thompson - Jonathan's Book

Jonathan gives up his life for his writing... but he's hardly Shakespeare.
He says, I don't have any inspiration
And my subject matter lacks invention
If I only had an opening line
Then I'm sure the rest would turn out fine
6. Harry Connick Jr. - I Could Write a Book

Perhaps more memorably recorded by Frank, Ella and Miles... but I have a soft spot for Harry's version from When (another) Harry Met Sally.

5. Rockpile - When I Write The Book

 Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds write a thousand words a day...

4. The Beatles - Paperback Writer

Every time I send off a submission letter, I think of this lyric...
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
Every time I receive a rejection letter, I think if this one...
If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer.
That's why it's good to finally see my book published without any more rejections. At least someone might read it now!

3.  The Beautiful South - My Book

Already included in my Top Ten Diary Songs, but too good not to squeeze in here too. One of Paul Heaton's best.
This is my life and this is how it reads
For every chapter, a thousand memories
A murder, a mystery where everybody bleeds
A fantasy, a thriller with romance and disease
2. Father John Misty - I'm Writing A Novel

Breaking out of the Fleet Foxes proved an excellent move for Father John. His debut album was a cracker, and this was my favourite track on it.
I'm writing a novel...
Because it's never been done before (!)  
1. Elvis Costello - Every Day I Write The Book
Don't tell me you don't know what love is
When you're old enough to know better
When you find strange hands in your sweater
When your dreamboat turns out to be a footnote
I'm a man with a mission, in two or three editions
There's no better written song on this list. Costello should have been a novelist (too).

Which one has pride of place on your bookshelf?


  1. Yup, Paperback Writer for the exact same reasons as you. Though I often feel an affinity for the line "it's dirty story of a dirty man..." too for some reason.

  2. HA...when I read the topic I thought, "I bet he puts Elvis Costello at number one". Pleased to see the Fab Four making an appearance too.

    I don't have many more to add as you had already covered the ones I had thought of, but how about "Lady Writer" - Dire Straits.

    And, what about this lyric from a song that I am sure you know very well - "I'm dying for some action I'm sick of sitting 'round here trying to write This book" (Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen)

    1. oh, and also meant to say - just listened to that Father John song (wasn't familiar with the song or indeed with Father John) and I really enjoyed it. Will have to do some further investigation of his work. Cheers for that.

    2. Lady Writer is a good call. I'm saving Dancing In he Dark either for my Songs About Songwriting Top Ten or my Songs About Writer's Block Top Ten. (Or perhaps both!)

      Glad you enjoyed FJM - I think I discovered him by reading about him on someone else's blog, so it's good to pass that on.

  3. Could have sworn there's a Simon and Garfunkel song, but have searched high and low and can't find it :-( Anyway, great list...can I download your book to my HP Touchpad...I'm the only person in the whole world to have one of these and it's unique operating system...

    1. I'm led to believe you can download a kindle app to most devices these days - even pc. I don't have a kindle either but I can read kindle books through my Nexus tablet now that I downloaded the free kindle app.

  4. I admire your 2-9, but I personally feel Costello's song is over-credited in categories and niches like this. I heard a new song recently called "Write Away" that I feel is top-ten worthy: -What do you think?

    1. Thank you, Keith - 8 out of 10 isn't a bad score on this blog!

      As for your own song, I really liked it. As an English teacher, I certainly appreciated hearing all those language techniques put to verse. And yes, writers need to write... I only wish I had the time these days!

      Thanks for dropping by.


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