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  • Writer's pictureEmilia Quinn

Why Are Happy Songs So Hard..?

Thinking out loud here... I've been giving some background when I play One Of You. live lately and it kind of goes like "I struggle to write happy love songs, so when I wrote this one I knew I had to make the most of it and release it".

Credit: Tamography

But that gets me thinking...why do I struggle? Why are happy songs to much harder to write than sad or angry songs? Looking through my songbook when I plan my 'Unreleased' episodes on Patreon there's a definite depressing theme going on (I should probably give out some happy pills with each sign up or something). And I know I'm not the only one, I have many friends who really struggle to write happy, upbeat songs without sounding ridiculously cheesy!

So, like I said thinking out loud, is it because for me writing is a form of emotional release? Do I right more when I'm experiencing turbulent feelings? Probably. I tend to bury myself in my own mind and that's when clusters of songs come about. It's never directly in that high-emotion moment, but afterwards. When the calm returns and my mind is processing the events. Sometimes it takes months or years for this to happen. So maybe I write most songs out of trauma response and that's why it's so difficult to write a happy one. And if so, perhaps I should be seeing a professional... oops!

Having said that, I'm also a bit of a sponge and I will go through phases of listening and taking in a lot of music and other creative media, which in turns starts seeping through into lyrics, small melodies, styles. And my preferred type of music and media to consume is edgy, dramatic, laid back in the evenings or feisty when I'm getting pumped for something. So is my massive inability to write a non-cheesy, happy song based on the material I absorb and the fact that I just don't really listen to it much.

An artist I do listen to and admire for his ability to convey soft and sweet emotions in a non-depressing way is Chris Stapleton. But Chris Stapletons are few and far between in my experience.

Finally: maybe it's just not the type of writer I am right now! Maybe one day I'll crack it and start adding more happy songs to my catalogue but ultimately, I really don't have a problem with it. It's just interesting to venture down that rabbit hole a little bit and ponder why some things are the way they are. But at any rate, even if I never write a happy song again, I have this one. There's "only one of [them] around".


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