Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills

The Shape of Your Eyes Go(es) Round My Heart

I've mentioned this in passing before (look...when you've written hundreds and hundreds of entries for your website over the last twenty years, sometimes it gets tough to think of something "new" to say), but another sudden burst of streaming for a particular song makes me wonder yet again about the nature of the artist/listener connection. 

In today's CDBaby report (as you know, they give me detailed information about how many times a particular song has been streamed or downloaded each day of the year with about a two to three month lag) I noticed that "The Shape of Your Eyes Goes 'Round My Heart") was downloaded forty-three times on March 15 of this year. (Exactly one month earlier, the song had been streamed forty-two times.) Now, this doesn't mean one person listened to the song forty-plus times. No, actually twenty-five different people streamed that song at least once March 15. Of course, for a best-selling artist such as Taylor Swift or Drake, 40-plus streams of a song would be cause for a lot of panicky hand wringing, but for a nothing like me that's cause for an eyebrow raise.

It's just that "The Shape of Your Eyes Goes 'Round My Heart" was a complete and utter throwaway song. My gosh, from conception to completion, I doubt the whole process of creating that track took more than an hour or so. And yet, it has become one of the more consistently popular BOK songs over the last couple years. I've very rarely ever created a song with some sort of ulterior motive in mind ("This one's gonna be so catchy that the whole world's gonna listen to it all at once!"), but I don't think I've ever been able to successfully craft one that "did" exactly what it was supposed to do. What was "Shape" supposed to "do"? I think it was the result of what I thought at the time was a half-baked (or maybe quarter-baked) idea that I intended to expand upon some time in the future.

My point is that once I start the process of writing and then recording a song it never really turns out the way I initially imagined it would. Accidents happen. New paths are illuminated. It's almost a mystical thing.

Oh...and it's very embarrassing to me to realize that (after I'd submitted the song for distribution and couldn't change the title) that I used a plural verb in the song's title when I should've used a singular verb. It's "The Shape of Your Eyes GOES 'Round My Heart", not "The Shape of Your Eyes Go 'Round My Heart". Jeez.

"Songwriters write songs, but they really belong to the listener." -- Jimmy Buffett

“I tried to look at writing a song almost like solving a mystery. The song was there, buried somewhere in my brain. All I had to do was follow the clues until I figured it out.” -- Jon Skovron

“I’ve always thought the best songs come though us not from us…. They gave me life, they gave me an identity and I gave them my tears, my heart, and my truth.” -- Carole Bayer Sager