29 May Featured Artist | Songs By Ruth | The Brave
Songs By Ruth is a music project by Belize born songwriter and poet, Ruth Garnes. After migrating to NYC and becoming a nurse, she went on to become a published author of two poetic anthologies. Her latest song, “The Brave” is inspired by the fight within us all, to be strong in the face of adversity.
“Most of my writing is embroiled by social events that move me.”
Tell us what led you to writing “The Brave.”
Two days before Hurricane Harvey hit the gulf coast, I received an email from my neurologist informing me that I had two brain tumors. All of Houston was preparing for Hurricane Harvey as was I. As most of the Houston area homes became flooded so did my home. After the initial clean up to prepare our home for restoration, we headed to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. It was there I learned that one of my tumors needed to be removed immediately because if it grew it could lead to blindness. The second tumor was treated two months later with gamma radiation. A month after the gamma radiation procedure, I developed numbness and tingling in my head. As a result, my primary care physician referred me to a different neurologist but one in the same practice as the one who diagnosed my tumors. The doctor I was referred to refused to examine me in support of the neurologist that I had initially seen. Feeling frustrated, and hurt, I wrote the words to “The Brave.”
Do you believe writers need turmoil in his/her life in order to produce “good art?”
Most of my writing is embroiled by social events that move me. At times, the events may or not pertain to my life. I do believe that one can have a happy quiet life and still be inspired and moved by the life of others. Though I know that had I not lived through some difficult moments, I might not have been an empathetic writer.
What’s your songwriting routine like? Do you write every day?
I write almost every day if only a verse. If a thought comes to me in church, or in my sleep, I get up and write it on my phone. I revisit and rewrite some of those initial thoughts and there are some that are left unfinished.
Do you think finding a song’s opening line is difficult? What’s your technique to have the great opening like “The Brave”?
While writing “The Brave,” I felt like, it certainly is true that when it rains it pours. Both the literal and poetic implication of that phrase applied to my situation. Generally, when I first start writing a poem or lyric, I am not fully aware of what I am writing about until the second verse. Once I decide on a theme, the challenge is to maintain that topic throughout the entire song.