Dan Edwards on inspiration and motivation

Dan Edwards has won first place in the competitive American Songwriter Lyric Contest for March/April 2022. We caught up with Edwards to ask him about his award-winning lyrics in the song “Out Where The Wind Blows Free”.

Read the conversation between the American songwriter and Dan Edwards below.

American songwriter: What was your inspiration for writing “Out Where The Wind Blows Free”?

Dan Edwards: Parts of West Texas are desolate and dark. However, if you stop your vehicle and step out, you may be overwhelmed by the true natural beauty of what you see. Due to the flatness of most land, the breezes do what they want and feel truly free. Perfect place for a wind song.

AS: Did you write the music for these lyrics? If so, how would you describe it?

FROM: No melody written for this effort, but having a melody in mind helps me find the right cadence on the lyrics. I used to keep melodies with the finished song. Lately, my songwriting has been called “too retro,” so I rarely include music these days.

AS: How long have you been writing lyrics?

FROM: Over 30 years. I started writing as a teenager and never stopped. After my parents fell asleep, I glued my ear to the radio speaker and marveled at the poetry of yesterday’s love songs. Some were a little cheesy to me, but most clearly said, “I love you, and here’s why.” Conversational lyrics work well.

AS: How long does it take you to complete a lyric or a song? How long did this one last?

FROM: This one came quickly, however, I went through several rewrites to get a good one. Sometimes I have to put a lyric aside for a while before I can go back and get it the way I want. Not too country, not too pop, not too sophisticated for an old cowboy.

Since 1984, the American Songwriter Lyric Contest has been helping budding songwriters get noticed and have fun.

AS: What motivates you as a songwriter?

FROM: Many years of watching and talking to fans have taught me that most people are comfortable with songs they can really relate to, songs that help us not feel so alone with our feelings. If we do good, Hi-Five! If we make mistakes, it’s like, “You did that too, what were we thinking?”

AS: Do you prefer to co-write or write solo?

FROM: Have had small successes in both directions. Most of my co-writing success has been in Europe, primarily France and Australia, where I collaborated on the monumental and highly sophisticated lyrics for our minor hit, “Hot Pants”.

AS: Are there any songwriters, artists or events that have particularly inspired you lately?

FROM: Especially going back and reading advice from Jimmy Webb and believe it or not, Johnny Mercer and Irving Berlin. The emotional feelings and resulting conversations don’t change much over the years. If your heart is broken, you still suffer, whether it’s today, yesterday or tomorrow.

AS: How do you find the time to write in the midst of life’s many demands?

FROM: Music and what it brings to people is the most rewarding endeavor for a guy like me. Most of the time, the music comes first.

Since 1984, the American Songwriter Lyric Contest has been helping budding songwriters get noticed and have fun.

Photo courtesy of Dan Edwards.

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