Behind The Scenes Of "Maybe" [New Original Song]

"Maybe" - Original Song

My original single "Maybe" is a song that I wrote and sang, with production by Ovi Bistranceanu. The song leans towards folk and is an expression revolving around our desire for definitive answers in life.

The song published on September 24th, 2021 and is available on all streaming platforms, and it's available for download on my site.

How The Song Was Born

I wrote this song around June of 2021.

I was just practicing piano on a calm night in with my roommate, Pete. It was one of those lucky, spontaneous times where I doing lots of repetitive scales and chord drills, and then suddenly, the chorus to this song just popped out.

First a melody I started to sing, and then the words came out. I played it a couple of times through, and when I looked up, Pete had tears in his eyes. 

I honestly wasn’t really thinking of anything or trying to make anything that night—I was just practicing chords and scales. The chords I was playing led to a melody, which led to a mood, which led to the words. 

Originally, the chorus was a little less hopeful. It was: 

Maybe, maybe when we’re older, maybe when we’re 

Wiser, maybe when we’re braver, bolder, better, nicer 

Maybe, maybe we’re older, and colder 

When we’re cold and lying in the ground 

The lyrics that came out weren’t intentional, but to me they delivered a message (from somewhere—who knows where?) of thinking about our lives from a bigger perspective. We can always put it off, whatever “it” is…until the day when we run out of time. Until the day when we’re cold and lying in the ground. It was heavy! 

The Themes Of The Song

I worked on the song for the next few days after discovering it, adding verses. The song started to lean away from the concept of procrastination, and it started to feel more like a song asking, “When will we all have everything figured out?”

The Wisdom Of Not Knowing (And Not Needing To Know)

The song started to speak to me about the wisdom of not knowing—and one step further, the wisdom of not really needing to know. I feel like there's this weird and unnecessary anxiousness we take on when we feel like we have to know, we have to have an opinion, we have to express our opinion visibly, we have to either stand for or against. 

Last I checked, the world is not black and white. We don’t need definitive, yes-or-no answers to the complex questions we are posing to ourselves and to society today. All-or-nothing thinking does ourselves a disservice. A public-ready reaction, judgement, and opinion about everything going on is only that. It's noise.

As I developed the song I began to see how it was embodying the wisdom of not knowing. If we could all learn to sit more gracefully with uncertainty and ambiguity—a little more wiggle room, a little more maybe, a little more "I don't know...and I don't think I need to"—I believe we would enjoy more intimate relationships, more play, less violence, and greater sense of wonder in our lives. 

Getting Distracted By Noise (And Ignoring The Meaningful Stuff)

The song also made me think about all of the noise we are creating in this (mis)Information Age. We have access to more information than ever, but it seems there's a saturation point—there's a point where more information is not better. It's simply more.  

It also made me think about how the noise we are creating and consuming can distract us from the most meaningful experiences in life. These lyrics came to me as I was playing with options: 

"When will we make time, learn to forgive? Learn to let die, learn to let live?" 

These questions struck me as important. Simple and important.

Finishing The Song

Somewhere in the middle of making the song, I made the decision to remove the lyric “maybe when we’re older, and colder, when we’re cold and lying in the ground”. I wanted to remove that sense of finality from the song. I preferred a bit of mystery, a circular feel that takes you back to where you started and never gives a neat, perfect answer to the questions posed. Because the art of living is about showing up, even if you never really ever know what the heck is going on, or why you’re here, or where you stand on an issue.  It’s the tension of wanting definitive answers and realizing that true wisdom does not require them. 

When I was ready with lyrics, a piano recording, and a scratch recording of the vocals and harmonies, I sent it to the producer I worked with on Young & In Love and Beautiful Big Blue. He said it sounded great, and was game to work on it, so we got started.

Ovi played the guitar parts for the song (I don't play guitar) and added electronic elements to the mix. Then, we set a day to record my vocal melody and harmonies in Ovi's studio. It was a really fun time!

Overall, the whole creation process for this was one of my most effortless songwriting experiences, and I'm very happy with the way this song turned out.

I really hope this song resonates with listeners and becomes a calming campfire song, along the lines of Joni Mitchell's "Circle Game", and popular campfire songs like "Hallelujah" and "Kumbaya".

"Maybe" Lyrics

How to start out, where do we go? 

When to hold on, when to let go? 

From the moments we remember, the years that we forget 

I’ve got a feeling that we haven’t found it yet 

(but) Maybe, maybe when we’re older, maybe when we’re 

Wiser, maybe when we’re braver, bolder, better, nicer 

Maybe, baby when we’re older, bigger, broader shouldered 

Maybe someday baby, maybe when we’re older 

When will we make time, learn to forgive? 

Learn to let die, learn to let live? 

There might come a time we have the mind to try again 

Someday when we’re better if only we could see us then... 

(we’d say) Maybe, maybe when we’re older, maybe when we’re 

Wiser, maybe when we’re braver, bolder, better, nicer 

Maybe, baby when we’re older, bigger, broader shouldered 

Maybe someday baby, maybe when we’re older 

When to hold out, when to let breathe? 

When should we break down, when to believe? 

What if down the road, we prove that we’ve been wrong 

Wouldn’t that be something, oh I hope to God we live that long 

(we’d say) Maybe, maybe when we’re older, maybe when we’re 

Wiser, maybe when we’re braver, bolder, better, nicer 

Maybe, baby when we’re older, bigger, broader shouldered 

Maybe someday baby, maybe, maybe, maybe when we’re older 

Maybe when 

Maybe when 

Maybe when 

Maybe when 

Maybe, maybe when we’re older, maybe when we’re 

Wiser, maybe when we’re braver, bolder, better, nicer 

Maybe, baby when we’re older, bigger, broader shouldered 

Maybe someday baby, maybe when

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