Scribbles that become priceless treasures are found all over the world, and in the strangest places. Small pieces of scrap paper that have been torn off the bottom of a piece of loose leaf. A line or two of the beginnings of a now popular and very famous song found scribbled on the back of a birthday card. Just a few words written quickly on a napkin and stuffed in a pocket; only to be found a week later just before almost ending up in the laundry. Or an inspiration for a song found on the margins of a restaurant menu. Just a few places that a person with a poem or a song have scribbled down an inspiration.
A very lucky man, in my opinion, by the name of Mr. Hunter Davies was given permission in 1966 and 1967 to write a biography on the Beatles. He was given up front and personal access to studios, back stage passes to concerts and, yes, even into their homes. During his time with the band and their families he collected scraps of paper, discarded envelopes, napkins, torn birthday cards and various other priceless items with lyrics written quickly on them. Some of these priceless treasures were the beginnings of great songs that later on became big hits. "Eleanor Rigby" was scribbled on a torn out page of notebook paper. The song written by John Lennon, "The Word," was found neatly transcribed in pink ink and had illustrations of trees and doodles in color markers done by Paul McCartney. Some other beginnings of their songs were gathered by Mr. Davies in the form of napkins and menus from restaurants. Phone, gas electric bills and 45 record sleeves were also collected and put away for safe keeping by Mr. Davies. Some of us do remember what a 45 record is, right! At the time he was just doing his job in hopes that one day these scraps of discarded items would help him write his biography. You can go on Amazon.com today and find the book called "The Stories Behind The Music." It is filled with the pictures and the stories behind all the items collected over the years by Mr. Davies. Just like many of the artists these days, I'm sure that the Beatles had songs written for them by other people but these items that were collected prove just how talented these young men were! The songs they wrote and have been given credit for are still to this day sung and played all over the world!
Other artists of all talents have been doing this same thing. When an idea or a lyric pops into your brain you just have to jot it down fast before it's gone forever. Perfect example is an R&B performer from 1957 by the name of Mr. Richard Berry. While in the men's room he heard a Latin beat he really liked so he pulled off some toilet paper and quickly scribbled down the lyrics to a new song, "Louie Louie"!
W. C. Fields scribbled words down quickly on a small piece of paper that was in his pocket. This scribble turned into the movie "Never Give A Sucker An Even Break" from which he made $25,000.00 in 1941. He was flat broke at the time and a nobody so he was given screenplay credit as "Otis Criblecoblis"! That's a story in itself if you ask me! I'm Just Sayin’!
In Ocean City, Maryland, where I live, there are many very talented artists who write their own songs. It is an honor and a privilege to have one such person as a friend - Randy Lee Ashcraft. He has written more than 150 songs, has 5 CD's and has been to Nashville and back. Music has always been a part of his life and in his heart and soul. It shows in the songs that he writes and he never stops writing. As in the song he wrote on his way back to O.C. from Florida while his wife, Lisa, slept in the car beside him. He wrote the song called “I Finally Made It Home,” referencing finally finding true love with Lisa. It’s awesome! Or the song "Hot and Sudsy" that he wrote on the deck of a cruise ship while singing to his friends that were on the annual cruise with him! You can check him out on Pandora Radio now as he has his own station there. His fans never get tired of hearing his Beach Country style! I'm Just Sayin’!
I do not profess myself to be a song writer. I do, however, think myself to be a person that can communicate by expressing myself with words. I have many notebooks and legal pads hidden away with poems, stories, and, yes, lyrics scribbled on them. Maybe one day I will get the nerve to pull out some of my pieces of napkins, scrap paper, restaurant receipts, poems and scribbles and they will be someone's priceless treasures!
Have you ever found yourself scribbling down a funny saying or a few words to the beginning of a poem on a receipt or on the back of a keno card? How about those great sayings on the Hallmark cards? They had to start somewhere. Come on - scribble something. You just might surprise yourself! Ya Just Never Know! I'm Just Sayin!
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