Lyrics, Songwriting, Writing, Writing Process

Let Me Sing This Dance With You

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to sing a few jazz standards accompanied by Murray Wall on double bass (contrabass); he’s a wonderful musician. It was so much fun. No microphone, no piano, no drum, and a no distractions.  We had a small audience who also seemed to be sending out the “no judgments” vibe which was very sweet. It was a showcase-style performance with four other women, and we had a ball singing in this simple rotating format. It was conceptualized by one of the performers, and dubbed “Beauties and the Bass” by another.  A lovely group dynamic.

basses talking

After the performance, I spent a few moments talking to another friend. She was part of the audience, but had also assisted a couple of the singers with their choreography (suggesting hand gestures, slight movements to try while singing, and other things like that.) She is a very graceful person, and we spoke about her possibly dancing to one of my original songs sometime in the near future.  As we were talking I was immediately reminded of the following song that I wrote back in 2008. It has a slight “cha-cha-cha” feel, and I could picture this lovely woman dancing and swirling to its Latin beat.

I sang it to her and she loved it (so I suppose it is a done-deal and at some point soon we are going to have to make this happen.) After I sang her the whole thing, I told her about how it had come to be written, what had inspired me as I think the title makes people think twice, what? sing this dance?  I know I am always interested in the “backstory” to songs I am attracted to, trying to discover what inspired other songwriters, so I will relate my process here for anyone like me who wants to know *smile*.

Like many songs, this one was inspired by a very brief conversation I had with a man I did not know very well, at an event that was not special, just a regular jam session with a lot of musicians I did not know at all.  I thought he was a singer, but it turned out he was a retired dancer and had only begun singing after his dance career ended. (I think he said he had been injured, but it was such a long time ago the details are now a little fuzzy to me.) And, that was about the extent of the discussion.

However, I thought about it again as I traveled home: What would a dancer do if they wanted to dance with the person they love but they couldn’t, for whatever reason, an injury or something else…could they sing the dance instead?

Then the following lyrics came about, and the melody came with it at the same time. It took a few drafts, but the song was written very easily, and as I wrote, in my mind I visualized a couple separated by physical distance, talking to one another on the phone. This is what one sings to the other:

Let Me Sing This Dance With You
©2008 Laurie Early

Let me sing this dance with you
I want to hold you in my arms so tight
And though you’re far away tonight
in my mind I see you clear.

Let me sing this dance with you
can’t you hear the steps we take
I feel as though my heart might beak
when we dance by ear

Oh baby, I miss you so
I wish that you were here with me
gazing down at the dance floor below
as we sway to this melody

Let me sing this dance with you
you’re a samba  in my heart
And even though we’re far apart
I can feel you near

Even though we’re far apart
I can feel you near.
Oh baby, I can feel you near.

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