March/April ’22 Lyric Contest Winner: Dan Edwards on Inspiration & Motivation

Dan Edwards scored first place in the competitive American Songwriter Lyric Contest for March/April of 2022. We caught up with Edwards to ask about his award-winning lyrics in the song “Out Where The Wind Blows Free.”

Read the conversation between American Songwriter and Dan Edwards below.

American Songwriter: What was your inspiration for writing “Out Where The Wind Blows Free”?

Dan Edwards: Parts of West Texas are desolate and bleak. However, if you stop your vehicle and get out you can be overcome with the real natural beauty of what you see. Because of the flatness of most of the land, the breezes just do as they please and seem truly free. Perfect place for a wind song.

AS: Have you written music for this lyric? If so, how would you describe it?

DE: No melody written for this effort, but having a melody in mind helps me with the proper cadence on the lyric. I used to keep melodies with the completed song. Lately, my music writing has been called “too retro” so I seldom include music nowadays.

AS: How long have you been writing lyrics?

DE: Over 30 years. Started writing as a teenager and never stopped. After my parents went to sleep, I put my ear up to the radio speaker and marveled at the poetry in the love songs of yesterday. Some were a little corny for me but most stated plainly, “I love you, and here’s why.” Conversational lyrics work well.

AS: How long does it take you to finish a lyric or song? How long did this one take?

DE: This one came quickly, however, I have gone through several re-writes to get one right. Sometimes I have to put a lyric aside for a period of time before I can go back and get it the way I want. Not too country, not too pop, and not too sophisticated for an old cowpoke.

Since 1984, American Songwriter’s Lyric Contest has helped aspiring songwriters get noticed and have fun. Enter today before the deadline:

AS: What keeps you motivated as a songwriter?

DE: Many years of watching and conversing with fans told me that most people are comfortable with songs they can really relate to, songs that help us not feel so all alone with our feelings. If we do good, Hi-Five! If we make mistakes it’s like, “You did that too, what were we thinking?”

AS: Do you prefer co-writing or writing solo?

DE: Have had small successes both ways. Most of my co-writing success was in Europe, mainly France and Australia where I collaborated on the monumental and highly sophisticated lyrics for our minor hit, “Hot Pants.”

AS: Are there any songwriters, artists, or events that have especially inspired you lately?

DE: Mostly going back and reading the advice of Jimmy Webb and believe it or not, Johnny Mercer and Irving Berlin. Emotional feelings and the resultant conversations don’t change much over the years. If your heart is broken, you still hurt, whether today, yesterday or tomorrow.

AS: How do you find time to write amid life’s many demands?

DE: Music and what it brings people is the most rewarding endeavor for a guy like me. Most of the time, music comes first.

Since 1984, American Songwriter’s Lyric Contest has helped aspiring songwriters get noticed and have fun. Enter today before the deadline:

Photo courtesy of Dan Edwards.

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March/April 2022 Lyric Contest Winners

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