September/October 2022 Lyric Contest Winner Q&A: Laura Lemons on the Inspiration Behind “Even The House Misses You”

Laura Lemons scored first place in the competitive American Songwriter Lyric Contest for September/October of 2022. We caught up with Lemons to ask about her award-winning lyrics for the song “Even the House Misses You.”

Read the conversation between American Songwriter and Laura Lemons below.

American Songwriter: What made you decide to enter the American Songwriter’s Lyric Contest?

Laura Lemons: I have always secretly wanted to be a songwriter. I love poetry and have written it for as long as I can remember. It helps me to process things. So in that aspect, I’m definitely more of a lyricist than anything. When I saw that there was a lyric contest I thought to myself, why not try? I had nothing to lose and my husband encouraged me to send it in. I think I waited until the last 15 minutes of the contest to submit it. It took me that long to work up the courage to do so.

AS: How did you feel when you learned you won? 

LL: I am still in disbelief. I thought it was just another sales call. I was at home with my three kids when I got the call. I was looking at them and mouthing “I won, I won!” But they had no clue what I was talking about. I’m pretty sure they thought I was losing my mind. I’ve been on cloud nine since that phone call.

AS: What was the inspiration for your submission? Why did you want to write it?

In June of 2020 my grandfather, affectionately called papaw, passed away. He was 89. He lived right next door to me my entire life. My mom and my sister also live beside us. We jokingly refer to it as the compound and he was the patriarch. His yard was impeccable and he was always working around his house. He could grow anything and everything. Papaw was just this strength that had always been there and when he was suddenly gone, everything around us felt so empty.  I wrote this on the year anniversary of his death. I just missed him so much and couldn’t find a way to process that loss. This song felt like it perfectly described my feelings and what I imagine everything and everyone else’s feelings that knew him to have been. Even the house.

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

AS: What’s the story behind the song “Even the House Misses You”? 

LL: After my grandfather passed, it was time to start going through his things. It quite literally describes some of the things we found and experienced as we were beginning to go through his belongings. He wasn’t a man of material things, and he was exceptionally organized. So that added a bit of sadness but also gratification in knowing that what we found, he meant for us to find. Everything was in its place, just as he intended.

AS: How long have you been writing lyrics?

LL: As a teenager, I would write poetry. I was a part of a youth group at my home church and we were very close. One of the guys in the group, named Joey, said he could put some music to the words. He did. So most of our Friday and Saturday nights consisted of doing just that. We even sang a few of the songs at our church on youth Sundays. Later on, I wrote a song for my husband on our wedding day. I played in a band at church called, The Followers, and they put the music to it for me and one of the members sang it at our wedding. That was 17 years ago now.   

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

LL: I have not written music for this lyric. I imagine it to sound similar to “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert though.

AS: How long does it usually take for you to write a song?

LL: When I am really inspired it can take just a few minutes. Those are my favorite! Sometimes I need more time to perfect it or tweak the wording to be able to most properly translate the story I want to tell.

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

AS: What’s the best piece of advice another songwriter has ever given you?

LL: Truthfully, I haven’t been around a lot of other songwriters. However, at the risk of sounding completely incompetent, I am a HUGE fan of the show Nashville. I’ve binged watched it a thousand times. I loved to watch Gunner and Scarlett and Deacon and Rayna write. It always came down to their feelings. Don’t complicate it. Just write what you feel. I think that has to be the best way to write a song. If you aren’t doing that then it just isn’t authentic. And no one can relate to that.

AS: What’s next for you? 

LL: I would love to continue songwriting. My dream would be to have a song cut and on the radio one day. If not a couple of different songs. I don’t think there would be any greater reward than that! Winning this contest has given me the confidence to keep writing and I intend to do so.


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