Firstly – the rules – there are no rules when it comes to song writing. Song writing is simply art with words and while some may say certain colours should not mix together- who decides these things . Its simply a matter of interpretation.
The only guideline I have is – would my Grand Mother or Grand children be offended if they listened to this – if the answer is yes, then I would not put that song up for the public to view. That does not mean I would not write it – if the words are going round in my brain – inevitably, they will come out in the form of a song. Just not for public consumption.
Some examples of this include my hysterectomy song which starts with the opening line ‘ I’ve got staples in my p-bes and my arms are full of tubes – or my song which asks Ed Sheeran ‘ does the carpet match the curtains – does the duvet match the rug… you get the idea.
There will always be the humpf brigade who take offence at everything but at the end of the day I have to live with the decisions I make without compromising my integrity.
Where do I get my ideas from? – Inspiration can come from anywhere and I often write about things close to my heart or what is happening to me. Politicians and public figures are fair game and there is always a funny side to everything if you look hard enough.
Which comes first – the music or the words. Usually for me, both together and often at the most inconvenient times. I live 25 k from the nearest town in a remote part of Southern New Zealand. I frequently find myself pulling over while driving to town, taking out my cell phone and recording the rough draft of a song.
I have discovered to my dismay if I don’t do this, by the time I get home, the lyric is gone. The early hours of the morning are also when my brain works best. However in the interest on marital bliss, I no longer prance around the bedroom with my uke at 3 am. My shift working husband does not always appreciate the urgency of my musical endeavours. (theres a song in that I am sure)
So there you have it – I write songs because I can, because there is an urgency in my inner being to communicate with others via music. Not all of them are masterpieces, but most of them will make you laugh. It’s the oil that keeps my engine running.


  1. Alan Thornton 1st August 2017 at 7:00 am #

    Terrific stuff Shirley, my friend. At I:59 AM I’m already having a very Shirley Day!

    • Shirley Cranstoun 8th August 2017 at 1:23 am #

      Thank you Alan – eating lifes elephant one bite at a time just now.

  2. Catherine Weston 2nd August 2017 at 3:01 am #

    Awesome! – thanks for sharing Shirley. You always seem to be able to write a witty ditty 🙂

  3. Shirley Cranstoun 8th August 2017 at 1:24 am #

    Thanks Catherine –

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