Living in Nashville has taught me a thing or two about music. Mainly about crafting a great song. When writing a song, one of the most important components is the bridge. The part of the song where the writer moves the listener to a response or a conclusion of the song. If books use plot twist to thicken the plot, songs use the bridge to thicken the weight of their song. The bridge is the part of the song where everything comes together for one face melting moment As my friend Matt Warren likes to say “take me to the bridge.” He says this because he wants to know what the conclussion is, what is the emotion that is going to be evoked out of the song. If a songwriter can write a great bridge, they can write a great song.
For songwriters, the temptation is then to game the system. If all they have to do is write a great bridge then what is the point of writing a great verse or chorus? Why not just skip ahead to the bridge? Yes, the bridge does not exist without the other components of the song. These components, (verse, melody, chorus) don’t always have the same weight as the bridge, but they play an crucial part of the song structure and shape. Without these pieces, the bridge would have nothing to take the listener to, nothing to connect them with. Enough about song writing and structure. What interest me is the way it applies to life? There are times when I am tempted to say “take me to the bridge.” Get me to the parts of my life where I can get some answers, where I can connect the dots, where everything comes together. The bridge can be the safety nets of our lives. Where all of our dreams are coming true. The places where opportunities seem to happen. But I am learning that the verses and choruses matter just as much as the bridge. The temptation is to rush over things, to get to the other side…to the conclusion. But life can’t always be about writing the perfect ending to your story. It is filled with so many ups and downs, highs and lows, twist and turns that when the bridge arrives you are able to look back at all that it has taken to get you where you are and celebrate the bridge because you wrote a great verse and chorus.