I have often wondered where some of the great songwriters get their inspiration. I know there are more songs written about love....new love, young love, lost love, unrequited love, unfaithful love, and eternal love just to name a few than any other topic. There are songs about trucks, cars, rodeos, wars, even a favorite food like Jimmy Buffet's "Cheeseburger in Paradise" for example. I think a song should be about something that most of the population can identify with. I have a suggestion. How about a song that 50% of the world already know about or will experience sometime during their life. That's right.... "The Ballad of the Hot Flash"! I envision this song to be reminiscent of Marty Robbin's "El Paso". Numerous verses detailing one day in the life a menopausal heroine. Lord knows we could even have a shooting just like in the desert town. We all know the effects that a hormone rush has on one's sanity.
The song could have a subtle intro maybe with guitar only (maybe a little Spanish in theme) and our heroine is described vividly as a raven haired beauty that makes everyone around her take notice. The verse proceeds to explain her preoccupation with youth fullness and the way she has cheated father time to look many years younger than her actual age. Then the music begins to build and a crescendo booms forth and we hear that she is beginning to look flushed, her fine silk blouse is showing signs of dampness, her upper lip has beads of sweat the size of jelly beans. Boom! We hear mature female voices in the chorus chanting "I told you so!". That's right. No female is exempt from the penance set upon them for yielding to temptation in the garden of Eden....The Hot Flash! Any woman experiencing one of the these surges would relish the thought of being stripped down to nothing but a few fig leaves I'll can assure you. The next verse can deal with the embarrassment she feels when making an important business presentation and she begins to feel the rise in temperature...she tries to will away the impending heat wave only to find it swelling way beyond control. She is now fanning herself with her presentation copy and seriously thinking about ripping the buttons off of her blazer as she tries to shed it gracefully. I see the mood of this ballad much like a Johnny Cash song...learn from my experiences...don't make the same mistakes. The only problem is you can't avoid the inevitable. That will be the closing "hook" to the song. No matter how rich, smart, beautiful and well read....no woman is immune from the wrath of the Hot Flash!
The rock and roll song "Last Kiss" tells of a tragic accident involving two lovers and the young girl dies in the arms of her young love. She asks for a last kiss on her dying breath. I really think this ballad should have that ending of sorrowfulness. The heroine could be sitting listening to some other women explain that it took years to complete the right of passage through menopause....and then the music fades. I am getting choked up just thinking about it. We could find a really prominent artist to record it. It would be better served to find an older diva but just think of the video....I would LOVE to see Faith Hill having a raging fire storm and sweating her lovely outfits through and screaming at Tim McGraw "Don't touch me!". Big time money maker I say. We could give one of those battery operated hand fans with every CD. Can you imagine when they call my name at the Grammy's as songwriter for "Best Song About a Bodily Function". I would thank all those strong women that have gone before me. The women at the turn of the century wearing those long skirts with bustles and high collars. The true heroines of our gender. I would be gracious to my inspirational role models and just as I begin to thank the academy a warm rush begins to climb up my body. As my ears begin to flame and my face becomes as red as the stoplight on main street I realize the rented dress I am wearing will definitely have to go to the cleaners before I return it. And so I leave the podium...not a person in the audience even questioning whether I have lived through what I had written about.
Sweating the details down on the farm in Indiana
(c) 2013 Ellen Wilson-Pruitt