The First Songs You Wrote And Recorded

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Describe the first song you ever wrote and the first song you ever recorded (in case they are different). It's always nice to look back at our start to see how we've grown overtime.
The first real set of lyrics I wrote was called "My Alien Invasion #227". That was summer 2015 when I was 19. I realized I could write lyrics when I listened to Bob Dylan's Highway 61 for the first time and "Tombstone Blues" came on. After the line "the sun's not yellow it's chicken" I was set off. I thought I needed all this life experience to write lyrics but that song and others like "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" made me realize anything goes. So I wrote a song about a family roadtrip being crashed by aliens and then a bunch of nonsense happens and there's a coffee tree and...ya never mind. I recorded a few takes of me playing something on acoustic and screaming my balls off but it was big time yikes.

The first song I recorded was "Theme For Being Radical Or Not", summer 2016, which is just a 2.5 minute guitar solo. It was the first time I put instruments together. It was all phone recordings and it was just barely synced up. I got a massive rush when I put it together. Hearing my guitar solo over the instruments was insane to me. It's still on Soundcloud, but be warned if you listen to it. My skills were underdeveloped at this time and I grew a lot (and hopefully continue to) from making tons of music after.
Share your stories! and if you have recordings out there share them also!

I took a songwriting class at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music and wrote my first song in that class. It is called Love on the Beach. The instructor was a local performing Chicago singer-songwriter. The class assignment was to find a picture and use it to inspire a song. I searched Google and found a pic of a heart drawn in the sand at a beach. And I sat down and, a few hours later, I had Love on the Beach!

Love on the Beach
My day began like any other
Happiness just out of reach
Then I saw you in the sand
I fell in love on the beach

Too good to be true I looked away quickly
Expected you'd look away too
But when I turned back your blue eyes met mine
That's the first time I knew I loved you

In the sand
By the sea
Only place I wanna be
Lovin' you lovin' me
I fell in love on the beach

We walked by the water and talked about life
While the sun quickly slipped out of reach
Then when I held you and your lips met mine
I fell in love on the beach

In the sand
By the sea
Only place I wanna be
Lovin' you lovin' me
I fell in love on the beach

In the sand
By the sea
Only place I wanna be
Lovin' you lovin' me
I fell in love on the beach
I fell in love on the beach
I fell in love on the beach

The first few sets of lyrics I wrote, as a novice drummer no less, have thankfully been eaten by history. I showed them to a couple of friends, and I said to one of them, "They're probably shit."

His response? "Yeah."

I believe the title was "Of Tomas". It was garbage. Thank you, blunt friend, for not lying. This was maybe 2003?

The first song I ever recorded? Ooooh, not sure. I think it was for 50/90 in, like, 2011. I still wasn't taking music seriously (I was writing novels instead), and it was a quick metal a capella track. It probably sucked, too, but I don't remember.

The first full production I ever did was in FAWM 2021. I put guitars, vocals and drums together for something resembling a song. It wasn't that good, but it was a milestone for me.

I've also done electronica before, so not recorded and no lyrics. That'd be maybe 2018? 2019? That can be found on YouTube under "Experiment v4.2 - Pinball". Pinball is 1 of the 7 or 8 songs, anyway. They weren't very good, but whatever.

At this rate, I'll make my first masterpiece in 2035...

I composed my piece Waltz when I was about 12, I remembered it well for a while, played it to my friends. Can't remember it now. My first recorded piece was waltz as well but it was a different one. I played it each time with variations and then recorded it. Later I renamed my piece and added some other instrumental sounds. I think the original was composed when I was 17. I composed it totally by chance. My friend called me and said that he composed a waltz and I felt like creating one. There were tape recording devises then so the recording was far from being good but at that time it was like magic to be able to record what I was playing.

Good topic @Kurtis Kanttila and I 100% agree that I need to look back from time to time to see how much I have progressed!

First song I ever wrote (and abandoned), was in 2009. It was about six months after I resumed playing guitar (after a 30+ year hiatus) and I always admired the solo singer-songwriter so I guess deep inside I wanted to be one. The song title was 'Trans Fat Blues', a 12 bar blues song about the prevalence of partially hyrdogenated saturated fats in foods. I did not finish the song however I certainly recycled the topic.

A few months later the first song I ever finished title was 'I'm Still Here'. A song about an Armageddon that never came, surviving a hurricane, etc. While I finished the song I only played it for my wife and my then guitar practice partner. Then I set it aside although again that topic has been recycled. I did rewrite it a few years later but it still did not rise to where I liked it enough to play it in front of people.

The first song I wrote that I liked enough to record and eventually play in front of people title was 'Merle and Loretta'. We were visiting one of my wife's aunts in a assisted living facility (ALF) and that couple's name was on one of the rooms. On the surface the song sounds like a variation on the John Prine song 'Hello In There' except instead of living in an apartment the couple was living in an ALF. The song vibe was inspired by all of the unhappy couples I knew growing up with all the details changed.

I was on a couple of different online post-your-song sites prior to FAWM so I had to have been making me strumming-and-singing-badly recordings to post there. Which was my first recording is now a bit of a mystery as my hard drive crashed in late 2011, maybe it was Merle and Loretta. At that time I had a Soundclick account however I deleted those earliest songs years ago. Reminds me that I need to cull my online postings LOL. The earliest archived stuff I have on my computer is from 2012 and mercifully for the rest of the world that is only in my computer. My earliest moderately listenable recording, that I still have, of Merle and Loretta is from January 2012, right before my first FAWM. Shared for the curious:

The first song I wrote, when I first picked up Logic and a midi keyboard, was a romantic, sincere song about my wife's and my first dance at our wedding. She got teary and really loved it.

Since then, I haven't written a single other romantic song (or song about her). Rather, it's been all beards and competitive eating, aliens and robots, bigfoots and monsters. I like to think I've "matured" into my personal style, but my wife might have a different word for it.

I wrote my first song when I was 40 (better late than never, right?).
Sitting on the lawn strumming a ukulele and watching the chickens, thinking about how they are nasty and vicious little dinosaurs who will kill and eat anything they can catch.
If I remember correctly, at that moment they were torturing a frog to death.
Started thinking about how if they were big enough they'd kill and eat humans.
The song just kinda wrote itself.
It was called "Chickens" and has verses like;
"Chickens - they wanna kick you in the head;
They want you dead;
That's what they said."
I still like to sing that one.

The first song I actually recorded was my very first FAWM song in 2011, "I Only Love You Cos You're Rich".
I still think it's a good song, but the recording was hampered by my inexperience and my insecurity about actually singing.

I'm sure I made up stuff before this, but the first one I can remember writing was age 9, called "Get Off Me" - which is what my younger sister said when I'd annoy her by sitting on her. It was pretty catchy!

First song I ever wrote? Well, I was in Grade 4 & wrote this song called "Making Tombs" (I was big into Ancient Egypt at the time, still am in a lot of way Lol ). Wrote it on a recorder, because that was the only instrument I knew how to play at the time. I still have the score in a binder somewhere. I should dig it out one of these days & try to input it into Buzz Lol I do remember, even back then I liked to play around with time signatures - even before I knew what Prog Rock was!

The first song I ever recorded, well that's pretty much my first Candle Album "Abandoned Apostle". It was recorded onto a tape deck in my parent's shed (actually offices attached to the garage) back in 1997. I was 19 going on 20, so I was a tiny bit more mature than my first song in Grade 4 Wink You can hear the album here:

Funny thing is, these songs were my first attempt at my "Candle M.O." - recording imrpovs live-to-tape. My methodology simply evolved from these humble beginnings 24 years ago (egad! has it been that long!)

See You In The Shadows…

I used to improvise songs in the backseat of my parents car when I was little. I got severely car sick so my options for distractions were limited. They were look out the window or retreat into my own headspace. I wrote a couple of things in college for theory class, mostly expressing my disdain for the rules of 4 part harmony. The first song that I wrote that I still remember was called Renvet's Lament and it was a folk ditty about working as an entertainer at a renaissance faire. That couldn't have been later than 2001 but I can't remember when I wrote it. The first thing I recorded was also for renfaire. I wrote an instrumental piece to go along with a theatrical dance before the joust that a friend of mine had choreographed. I wasn't actually working at the faire that year. I recorded it along with a parody my brother and I wrote together and was getting performed on my little zoom digital recorder. I didn't start paying attention to recording until I started doing 50/90 in 2013 (I think?).

Oh gosh, it's hard to think that far back. I know I was writing songs since I was very little, but I think the first time I recorded was when I was 13 and put together an album called "Liberal Media Bias" which I gave only to friends and family. It's a little cringey to listen to now, but I'm glad I had that experience so young.

I wrote and recorded a few songs around the age of 12-14 but I don't have any record of them anymore.

I started writing songs when I was 14 and recorded them on a reel to reel tape recorder. I've always connected writing songs with recording them. I can still play my first songs - they are like old friends. I still have a tape of some of them but I don't have a tape machine that could play them!

Cassette recorder in the drummer's basement. 1978. "Gone." Someone somewhere still has the recording. Smile

I wrote my first song when I was six. My two younger sisters and I were given harmonicas at a Christmas part . I started a round of four chords and taught it to them in the car on the way home. God help my parents!

2004 when got my first acoustic for my birthday gave up Arts and filmmaking dream started writing riffs pretending it was a bass. Got a job as mascot to get my first cheap electric around 2005 an sourced a first act amp. Put together a makeshift band started with my close friends Kyler and Brandon and few other misfits who had no experience but we persisted and wrote our own rendition of Charles Manson's ''I am a mechanical man'' and other own tune we wrote together called'' Sticks And Stones'' recorded it on a cheap 30$ tape recorder I bought.

The first "song" I wrote was in either 3rd or 4th grade.

Let the water out of the river,
Let the water out of the dam
The rain it won't stop comin',
And we will lose all our land.

Demonstrating that, living in So Cal, I had no idea how floods work. I sang it for the class playing my Mom's beautiful, and sadly long gone, tenor guitar tuned like a baritone uke so I could play all three chords I knew.

The first real song I wrote, sort of a talking blues type thing, was in 1962 right after I got my first electric guitar. A $35 Kay with a gawdawful neck.

Just the other day I turned sixteen
I said I gotta get me a goin' machine
I picked up a Ford, they call it a deuce
Dropped in a V-8 and turned on the juice.

Now I headed down the road just as fast as I could
This buggy of mine didn't carry no hood
4:11 rear made them horses thrive
With a four speed box and an overdrive.

It goes on to chronicle a losing encounter with a souped VW. I'm sorry to say I never had a ride close to that deuce.

First recording was in 1963 with my high school surf band, The Esquires. We recorded a couple of original tunes at a little studio in some guy's basement. He actually made us some records. Cut directly to disc which was metal covered with plastic. I still have mine. It was so much fun I haven't stopped although not much recorded output until around 1970 when a friend loaned me his TEAC which had sound on sound.

I started writing songs when I was about ten or eleven (so ... early 90s). But before that I already dreamt up songs in my head, before I could even play an instrument.
With a school mate i founded my first band in grade 8 and found that writing songs is easy, we made about two new ones each session.
For my first attempts at recording my own stuff (ca. 1992-93) I used this setup: Play bass to a crappy drumcomputer, record that on my tape recorder.
Play that back, sing and play along on guitar and record that on my brother’s tape recorder.
I didn’t bother to write lyrics, I just sang some gibberish that sounded English to me.
Looking back I still like the melodies and riffs I came up with. But boy, has recording technology come a long way since that.

I wrote lots when i was young (starting at about 10 through to 18) but never kept them, they were just play and throw away! Many written on the spot! When i came back writing I'm pretty sure it was called Rose Colored Glasses. I still play it occasionally. Probably the first one i recorded all be it! A phone recording. In the studio i am pretty sure it was a song called Ordinary Man, which fortunately got plenty of radio play! Ive just started playing it a bit again recently.

My first song writing attempt with a couple of friends and we were forming a band, aged 15ish. It was going to be the next big heavy metal hit!! We recorded it onto a cassette on a boom box. Musically and lyrically it was a big pile of garbage. I think the cassette was recorded over very quickly.

Oh well. The first song i really wrote, and played to people and they were pretty supportive actually was a really earnest song called For The Better. I haven't got a link to a recording of it anywhere but it could probably still be made into a half decent rock song. It was supposed to be quiet in the verses and loud in the choruses, and filled with political outrage. That was inspired by Radiohead's dynamic extremes, which in turn was basically ripped off from Nirvana. I had written a few sort-of songs before that which were all christian ones, but they really don't count, they were effectively practice, for the real thing.

The first one i recorded is pretty hazy. I was in a band called Clapshot, which included my dad and two other guys(!), and it sort of grew out of a folk club we went to. The band was more world music than folk, and we recorded a cassette album, released through the now defunct Grampian Records, but it sold several hundred copies, which was not bad in Orkney, which has a population of about 20,000. However the first song i wrote myself that i recorded would have been Simple Simon. I recorded it with my band "Why?" (yes, we were called Why? first!), which was my college band. We had to record a couple of tracks in the studio for an assessment, and that was the one i wrote and we did. I haven't got that actual recording, which was pretty energetic and punky, but i do have a similar, but more nuanced version recorded the following year with The Lapels, if you fancy hearing it. Again, it's a fairly simple political one:

Thanks for asking! great discussion topic.

the first song i wrote was in cocoa beach florida 1965, called We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone. which was taken off a sign in a resturant that refused service to african americans.The first one i recorded was in 1969 for music theory class...titled Ferry to San Diego. here is the song, not the oriinal recording but closely approximatimg it.

IA's picture

I wrote a song in 1975 about an Internet discussion forum where everyone just lists things and nobody discusses anything.

I wrote and recorded a song the day after I got my first guitar on my 16th birthday. I have it. But no one will ever hear it.

I recorded my first song this year in January. Like many probably I was in a bit a wintery dark hole at the time. I got through it being part of creative writing group online, and after one of our sessions I opened a bottle of wine a let fly writing about the fear of being taken to a mental asylum, kinda making some jokes along the way. A friend of mine had talked to me about when he had to 'section' his mum (that's what we call it in the UK).. and this happened at his house where I'd used to rent a room, so I kind of visualised myself being there and having the medics knock on the door, and I was trying to negotiate stopping off on the bakery on the way to the mental hospital as it was an important lockdown ritual for me. Anyway so I had a pop at two ex girlfriends in the last verse...A few days later one of the ex's still wanted me to go and stay with her, and in desperate need of some love for the song I sent it to her thinking she would like it. She hated it, thought the entire thing was about her (instead of just half a line), and blocked me and hasn't spoken to me since.

It was called 'Beliefs a £1', as beliefs can be cheap these days. It is called 'The Porter' now. I quite like the story :). But the consequences of it have really made me think about how my music affects people, and me too.

@IA, I'd be interested in hearing more about that, and keen to hear everyone else's thoughts as well...

I went though a "Weird Al" phase in the early 80's and wrote a lot of parody songs that are almost certainly lost forever. Aside from an Italian food inspired take on Madonnas 'La Isla Bonita' I can't recall any of them. At 13 I got a MIDI keyboard and over the next few years I bought myself a sequencer, drum machine and a couple other synths. I wrote many, many songs into that sequencer and they are backed up as SYSEX on a cassette I've kept in less than ideal archive-conditions for 30+ years. I would track down a Yamaha QX5 and a mono tapedeck, but I'm pretty sure there is disappointment somewhere along that journey.

Did some band stuff in HS and ghost wrote a couple of tracks for some other dudes band, then I sort of fell out of it.

When the iPhone came out I started playing around with the synth apps and eventually GarageBand. Having a note app in my pocket at all times got me back into writing lyrics, but it was only ever fragments. A few years later I got a guitar again and learned how to play a bit again.

The real break happened only a few years ago when my 12-13 year old son who was into drama, wanted to try out for a local musical production. The role didn't require a singer, but singing would be involved. I thought it would help him out if he could meet with an instructor before his audition just for some tips. The instructor and I got to chatting and I asked him if he taught adults. A few lessons later and I was comfortable singing. I don't think I'm great, but it's better than my guitar or piano playing.

One morning I was noodling along on the guitar and I hit on something I liked, and some lyrics started to flow out. I plugged it into GarageBand and worked on it for a few hours until I had a punky track called "ZeroSum Winner" that sounded like a "real song". Having the confidence to sing was what took this from something I secretly did on my phone to something I wanted to take further.

I also was in an Adult ADHD research study about two years ago and I've been on meds ever since. That might have something to do with it too.

Ugh! The first songs I ever wrote, I was 59 Ha!. Never even knew I could write until then, just never tried it and never crossed my mind. I did remember that I won a poetry writing contest in middle school about soldiers in the Vietnam war. Once I started most of my early songs sucked, mainly I was writing therapy type songs at least that's how I look back on them today. It took me at least five years of pretty constant writing to get anything I thought was decent. These days after much studying, taking a creative writing college class and writing many poems (I switch between poems and songwriting especially when I seem to have some writer's block with songs), I'm getting alot more songs I feel pretty good about. My personal belief for myself is that I needed to learn to write well first mainly because I tend to do story telling songs and not just beats or pop type songs. In my songs good lyrics come first and then for me the music is more difficult, mainly cause I'm not a good musician.

Well technically the first song I ever wrote was one I improvised on a picnic table when I was very young: Biggrin

But despite writing poetry and song snippets for most of my adolescence, I somehow couldn't bring myself to actually finish one until I was 21. It was called "Above the Rest": and I was so pleased because it felt emotionally exactly how I'd imagined it. I wish I could say I never looked back after that, but it still took me a few years to become relatively prolific. It was like pulling teeth at first (still is sometimes, but you just learn how to get on with it); I think it took me almost 3 years to finish my first 6 songs.

I have enjoyed reading all these histories, you are all so accomplished. I got a mandolin almost six years ago so I could go to a seniors jam at our local community center. I was getting on quite well learning music chords and notes. Then COVID. My friend @crutherford suggested I write some songs, and she started an online group. So I wrote my first song around April last year.