Pretty Little Girl
by Kate Power
I wrote this little ditty in our VW van while running daily errands in the Artichoke Music southeast Portland neighborhood. The verses came in between stops, and I had to drive around the block a few times to get the last few lines to come through. In the end, I think it all came together because I fed the spark with my attention until the lines were finished rolling out and it felt done. However that works, I have come to realize that the fruit of songwriting lies within that sometimes delicate labor of paying close attention while making room for what unpremeditated words might fall out- not knowing what's coming next. It's a paradoxical feeling - not intellectual. Sometimes the words come - and then point to underlying stories, urges, ideas and feelings propelled from some hidden force (and sometimes wisdom) behind my thinking mind. The trick to creativity seems to have as much to do with freeing up the channel of personal static so the words - and music - flow forward without interference.
This song is a simple 2-chord tune in the key of A with a mouthful of words that take a little practice to get it all out - a good exercise in diction! It's fun to clawhammer this one on the banjo or the banjo uke - and is easy to strum or Travis fingerpick. Just keep it simple and the tune and words will bring fun results. To learn more about clawhammer banjo uke, please visit Aaron Keim's teaching site on the Tools page. Frailing (another word for clawhammer) is a fun technique that yields a lifetime of enjoyment - and works great on this song.