This is how I feel about being a woman songwriter north of 50.
Profound reverence, deep heartfelt gratitude for being alive. As a songwriter, we are the lucky ones. I simply love to write. To let it out. To get it out. Whatever that is. Whatever that looks like. When you are giving birth to creativity it is so freeing. North of 50? We are living the life of legends now. We have made it. We survived. Often not unscathed from years of questioning our own validity. Am I of value? Is my writing any good? Does anyone care if I ever write anything?
I often would say, “Songwriters do not become songwriters because they have it all figured out.” North of 50 we arrive at the doorstep of great good fortune. For many of us, songwriting is our purpose, putting to music the stories that we feel, fuel or fascinate us. We are writing about our experiences, journey lived this far, journey to go. There is no destination. The success is truly in the day to day journey. What is your inner state in this moment? This moment is the perfect moment to express your beauty. There is no time limit on songwriting. No time like now to simply take the time to allow a melody through.
A word through. A thought, vision or dream. Once you are north of 50 you can simply stand in it. Stand tall in who you are. Stand, looking forward with enough experience to know which direction you want to head in. We have a wealth of information and lived experience to draw upon. We have fallen down and we have lifted up. It does not seem so long ago that I remember just dreaming one day, maybe, maybe, I would write songs. Seems like yesterday. Life truly moves by so quickly. We all have the ability to be a songwriter. I wish to inspire all to write. If you are over 50, just write about something that happened or matters to you. Put a melody to it. Your own style. It does not need to be like or sound like anyone else. You are free once you are north of 50. Just simply allow yourself to be. Allow for flow. You might surprise yourself. Walla! Lucky is the artist that finds the pathway of communication through songwriting.
We that are north of 50 are able to draw from the yin within and the yang without. We have the ability to write in any manner we choose. We are able to communicate through a universal language, emotion of the soul. A unified field of awareness. I have often said that there will come a time when only the strong will have the courage to speak, to sing. When you arrive at a place where nothing can tempt you or distract you from being your most honest, authentic self, songwriter. No longer afraid to let it all hang out. What is there to hold back from? When you are willing to give birth to the song and to know what the song needs to come alive. It is such a heart opening experience It will be the artists north of 50 who have experienced a multitude of relationships. As women who are proudly aging, we care less about what others think and find it easier to align with our spirit in our own acceptance.
You can write for Mother Earth, for the children, for the critters, for the oceans, forests, and water, sun and moon, climate change. Anything that makes you tick. Your own environment or where your people originate from. You can bring voice to the voiceless. Songwriting is deeply healing. My Mother, Beth Jacobsen, once said, “You never feel older, you just look in the mirror and see you are.” Maya Angelou put it like this. “When you see me sitting quietly, like a sack left on the shelf, don’t think I need your chattering. I’m listening to myself. Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me! Hold! Stop your sympathy! Understanding if you got it, otherwise I’ll do without it! When my bones are stiff and aching, and my feet won’t climb the stair, I will only ask one favor: Don’t bring me no rocking chair. When you see me walking, stumbling, don’t study and get it wrong. Cause tired don’t mean lazy and every goodbye ain’t gone. I’m the same person I was back then, A little less hair, a little less chin. A lot less lungs and much less wind. But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.”
Recently at the Folk Alliance International Conference, the great songwriter Janis Ian said, “I did not write the song 17 when I was 17. I wrote it many years later when I had the breathing room from the experience. I looked back on being 17 and I wrote the song.” Arriving north of 50 is a gift. A beautiful, heartfelt gift. As a female songwriter north of 50, I am grateful. Totally grateful to have the ability to receive and share such a touching gift. Bella! Bella! for all people, for the women, writing songs north of 50. What a golden opportunity to speak. Every experience you have ever had has a song in it. Keep writing. Let go. Write some more. Bring the song to life. Keep writing. Never give up! Songwriting is ageless.
Anything is possible. Never give up! Breath. Repeat. LoRa Elizabeth is a singer songwriter currently residing in NWA, Northwest Arkansas. USA. She has spent a lifetime creating music and supporting other creators. She loves to collaborate and improvise, and revels in making songs up on the spot. In striving to bring exposure to musicians and artists, and opportunities for the public to experience great creativity, she has produced numerous multi-day music and art festivals. She brings together artist and audience. She has also released five independent albums and is featured on other recordings. LoRa Elizabeth hopes to one day be able to sustain herself solely as a songwriter, artist and producer. You can find her at www.loraelizabeth.com