Updated: Dec 13, 2019
The song “Children in the Garden” was written at a pivotal time for me as a baby songwriter signed to Sony Music Publishing, then Sony/ATV in Nashville, Tennessee.
Children in the Garden Photo Credit Matthew Starling
It used to be the case in major music publishing houses that there were older writers who were retained on staff mainly to write with the newbies such as myself, teaching us how to do the craft and deal with songwriting as a profession.
However, being a newbie songwriter who was very much in the developmental stages, sometimes these older writers would cancel on short notice to write with an artist, or to just have a vacation day with family.
Sometimes writers would even forget to cancel, and just wouldn’t show up.
It was on just such an occasion at Sony in the Fire Hall when I found myself sitting in the hallway writer’s room all by my lonesome, staring at a blank piece of paper, and with all day to think about it.
It was at that moment that self-pity reared its ugly head, and attempted to distract me from the matter at hand.
But on this particular day, I shoved its thin separative voice aside, and clutched my guitar tighter, loosening a few strings on the top and bottom as an added allure.
And I just started strumming in that open tuning, allowing the mournful wail of my mountain influence to pour out of my experience craving throat, and drift through the cracks in the door toward hopeful ears.
I wrote “Children In the Garden” that day in about an hour, and fooled around with it for a while after that day for good measure, having no one but myself to bounce it off of, fearing it too weird for the commercial country marketplace I was being employed to write for.
Eventually, I played “Children” for Pat McMakin, the studio manager and a champion of mine at Sony. Pat encouraged me to record the song at my first demo session with Sony, along with a few other of my songs. Looking back, none of them was really commercially viable in the country music landscape of that time.
But yet, the songs remain some of my favorite to this day, and certainly the recordings are great, being performed by A list studio players.
To me they are a timeless recollection of what happens when you get a bunch of guys and gals with a mastery skill set together on the same page and hit record.
Here is another song called “Some Things Ain’t What They Seem” we cut that day at Sony on that same session I wrote about my uncle Larry Williams, a Vet who committed suicide.
Check out more about Children in the Garden and related stories here, including a PDF on how to Create Your Garden in meditation ...
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