For the last 6 weeks I’ve been taking an online songwriting course through Berklee Music via Coursera. I mentioned in a previous post the mechanics of this endeavour and I can now say that I have just about completed it.

What I’ve learnt about songwriting has been invaluable and I can’t believe I almost didn’t do it.  Pat Pattison, the lecturer (who also taught John Mayer) managed to open my eyes to a whole new world of song construction.


What I didn’t learn from other sub-par songwriting materials, I learnt in Pat Pattison’s songwriting course – that and more.

As part of the 5th and 6th assignments for the course, students were required to write and record a full song.

My friend Adrian (also of my band Brother & Brother) had previously asked me for conceptual input into his 5th assignment wherein he asked me to provide him with an idea or starting point for a song. I gave him the first idea that popped into my head:

Pat Pattison
Pat Pattison

“Rollerblades” (I’ll update you on the progress of that song in a follow up post – we spent most of this past weekend working on it). With regard to on the spot song idea generation, I did likewise and asked Adrian for a conceptual starting point for my submission. Being a funny character, Adrian wanted to see if I could write a song about fruits! As such, “Fruit Vendor” was born.

You’d be surprised at how few rhyming words there exist for fruits, I mean try finding a rhyme scheme for the word banana! Running with the song title “Fruit Vendor” and using a rhyme worksheet and an online rhyme dictionary, I went to work on 6 keywords that would subsequently provide the opportunity for a larger rhyming vocabulary for the song.

In Studio2After writing down the lyrics and recording it haphazardly for assignment 5, I received the following feedback from one of my course peers:

“Stupendous. Makes me sick and enthralled at the same time. Sick because I didn’t write this song, enthralled because this song is so consuming in its simplicity and depth.”

Having read that, I knew this particular song had some form of untapped value and I decided to re-record it with refined phrasing and redone instrumentation.

What you’re about to hear is that version. Let me know what you think of it – so far I’ve heard some good feedback.

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