Written By Lacy Green
Lacy Green scored 1st Place in the March/April 2023 American Songwriter Lyric Contest for her song “Christine.” American Songwriter caught up with Lacy to get the scoop on the lyric’s inspiration and other musings.
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What made you decide to enter the American Songwriter’s Lyric Contest?
At the start of a new year, I always like to try a few new things. This was one of those for 2023.
How did you feel when you learned you won?
I was thrilled. Art is so subjective, so it’s always wonderful when something connects.
What was the inspiration for “Christine?” Why did you want to write it?
I became a mother to a daughter last spring and wrote this song a few months later. I didn’t consciously sit down and try to tell that story, but it was one of those rare instances where it felt like the song just showed up and spilled out.
What’s the story behind the song “Christine”?
“Christine” is a story about a 15-year-old girl who gets pregnant. Sometimes I think we talk about issues and forget about the real people behind them. I wanted “Christine” to be a song about a person. In that spirit, I felt like it was important to leave her ultimate decision ambiguous to the listener and instead focus on all the mixed messages that a young woman might encounter.
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How long have you been writing lyrics?
I’ve written in some form or fashion since I was a young kid. My discipline with it increased gradually over time and for the last decade or so, I’ve written nearly every day.
Have you written music for this lyric? If so, how would you describe it?
I have! I would describe it as a folksy mid-tempo feel that switches between major and minor chords. The music sounds like I imagine Christine feels, which is to say somewhere between innocent, hopeful, and uneasy.
What keeps you motivated as a songwriter?
I truly love the craft. I love the challenge, the catharsis, and the mystery of it.
How long does it usually take for you to write a song?
It really varies. It might take an hour or an evening, or it might come in pieces over the course of a week. In some cases, I’ve kicked ideas or fragments around for years before the “Aha” moment happens. “Christine” took a couple of hours.
What is your idea of the perfect song?
A perfect song to me is one that hooks you on the first listen and is still revealing itself to you on the hundredth listen. It’s hard enough to do either, but to do both at once is a true feat.
Who are your all-time favorite songwriters and why?
That’s a long list. I always come back to Tom Petty, Patty Griffin, Darrell Scott, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, and Adam Wright. To me, each of them is a master of the “perfect song,” as I defined it in the previous question. And they’ve each done it consistently for decades.
What’s next for you?
In June, I’m headed into the studio to record “Christine” and several other songs for my next solo album. My band, The Wonderful Nobodies, has a record out now called More and I’m working on a few things to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of that release coming up in March.
What would you tell other songwriters who are considering entering the Lyric Contest?
In the words of Roger Miller, “Knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it!”
Read the Lyrics to “Christine” HERE.