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  • Ani McManus

From Three Little Birds to One Tiny Crocus: Pitfalls and Paranormals of Songwriting

Updated: Apr 6

A year ago, as daylight was beginning to last longer, and news of the pandemic was breaking, I came upon a purple crocus poking up through a crack in the street. A new song immediately started forming in my head inspired by this hopeful sign of Nature’s unconquerable spirit.


For the past month, I’d been wanting to write a song using the inverted chords I was learning in ukulele class, and high D, E, and A fit perfectly. After working on it for several days, I began to notice, with dismay, that the tune sounded familiar. Had someone else already written this melody? Stolen it from me years before I had a chance to write it? It wasn’t long before I realized that one tiny crocus was actually “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. I was crushed!

Fortunately, the crocus of my song was not crushed. It proved to be as determined as the one in the street, and pushed through until a new melody emerged. From there, it felt as if someone else took over, overrode my story, and wrote a new one. I was reluctant to let the original theme go, but the 'ghost writer' finished the lyrics in record time, so who was I to argue?


But who was “she”—the crocus-woman of my song?


I got my answer a year later when the crocuses were blooming again. And no, she wasn't me.


~ Re: The Grand Opening




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