What comes first, the music or the words? A question often asked of songwriters. The answer is most definitely, the words. No, the music! Both at the same time? Really, it happens all of these ways. This is the story of a song I co-wrote in 2002 with my partner Pete Droge called, "Going Whichever Way the Wind Blows."
Our home, which doubles as our work space, has an open floor plan. The second floor is an open loft that houses the recording studio console where Pete writes, records and engineers. It hangs over our kitchen, dining & living rooms.
One day Pete was working on the score for the film, Tattoo: A Love Story. He thought it would be a cool to have the main character's theme turn into a song during the final scene and the closing credits. So he ruminated on the theme using what we call marble–mouth lyrics, which means no words, just sounds and syllables. Sometimes this approach helps us find a song's melody, but in this case, the lyrics jumped out.
I was in the kitchen cooking, listening to Pete marble–mouth as a backdrop to my clanging pans and running water. I knew what the film was about, I knew the music well, and I knew what Pete intended for this particular song's message. Plain as day I heard him sing what sounded like a killer lyric to me. I turned off the sink and called, “Pete, did you just say, 'going whichever way the wind blows?'"
And I said, "Oh! Well then, “GOING WHICHEVER WAY THE WIND BLOWS!”
And a co-write was born. This song has been licensed to a handful of TV shows and was featured in a 2008 Toyota commercial. It is also in the independent movie, Tattoo: A love Story and on the 2006 Pete Droge album, Under the Waves.