A few years ago I assigned myself a songwriting project with the goal of writing, recording and releasing a song each week. Whenever I say it out loud it doesn't sound too difficult, but the reality of doing it was much different.
Throughout, I was full of anxiety. I didn't expect the songs to be amazing, in fact, I fully expected most of them to be average at best. I wrote and recorded thirty songs over the span of thirty weeks, and I was right, most of them were average.
But, I did learn a lot about my writing process. I learned about the things that I found most difficult, and the things that I could reliably do. Surprisingly, the most difficult part was always finding something to write about. Most of the time, I just wander around waiting for an idea to find me. That's not a very efficient way of writing, but I think that those ideas are often better than the ones I manufactured for this project. That realization prompted me to be better about collecting ideas, and not just letting my memory curate them. Now I write them down, so if I feel like I need to do some writing I have them there.
I learned that I'm pretty quick to come up with musical ideas, and most of my labor is spent on lyrical ideas. I sort of view songwriting as puzzle solving. First I build the template for the song then I work on filling it in. The template might change a little as I write the lyrics, but, in general, once I have a verse established I work within the parameters set by that section.
I also learned that I'm not a particularly introspective songwriter. Most of my songs are narrative stories about characters or events. I like history, so I include a lot of those subjects in my songs. I would consider myself a fairly private person about my feelings, but I think with any artist, the idea of "emotional privacy" is an illusion. Listening back to the songs I've written, the music I choose to play, and the tonalities I choose for the music, I think it's pretty easy to tell who I am and how I feel about things. So, introspective or not, my songs say a lot about me and I should probably just get over it and write more songs about how I feel.
"Christina" is one of those introspective songs.
As you can tell, its about a relationship that ended and how that ending has stayed with me. Though I wrote it about a specific relationship from my past, I think it applies to all the relationships I have had that dissolved in one way or another. I view it a a song about memory and the things that linger after you stop seeing someone. As the distance between the end of something grows, the details fade. I found that I didn't remember the specific things about the relationship, but instead, I just had an over-arching feeling about things. I couldn't remember the details of an event, I just felt one way or another about certain events.
That led me into this song. Christina is a place holder for a few different relationships in my life that have either ended poorly, or simply dissolved due to time or different life paths. It's hard to keep in touch...sometimes I don't want to. This song is about what is left from those breaks.