Rowing helps Weiland feel the rhythm
Aug. 27, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- Allison Weiland has been writing for as long as she remembers. She doesn't go anywhere without a notebook, so she can jot down random thoughts at random times.
It all caught up to her last spring when she was enduring a 40-minute ergometer workout at the Texas Rowing Center. Those random thoughts started coming together and sounded like a song.
At the urging of her teammate, Felicia Izaguirre-Werner, Weiland submitted her first song to the "We Are Listening" Lyric Writer Awards. After months of waiting, Weiland was walking to her chemistry final last May and received an e-mail saying that she won. Now, the song, called "Tag You're It," has been recorded into a demo, and is working to get radio airtime.
Weiland recently spent time with TexasSports.com and explained the creative process behind her first attempt at songwriting.
This is actually inspired by one of my favorite book characters. This is what I think of her, how I see her -- she didn't want to be tied down, she wanted to fly. I don't think I did this consciously, but once I had the chorus I knew I needed to build the story from there. I needed someone who would actually say that -- someone who wouldn't slow down, but wanted a partner who could keep up with her.
The chorus came first. I was playing tag on the erg, just to make the time go faster. And my coach used to tell us to "step on the gas" when I needed to pick it up. Those two thoughts just went together. Coxswains always tell us "when they die, we fly," so I think that must have been in my head too, because it just came. I kept saying it over and over to myself to get me through the erg piece -- it was like a stroke for each word. And as soon as I was done, I ran over and jotted it down.
At 16 her parents gave her her dream
The keys to a beautiful racing machine
Friday night, she pulled up next to me
Revved up her engine, and flew off with a wink
And she screamed
I think this verse is more about me, because I always wanted a sweet car I could race. Reading, writing and rowing are pretty much all that I do, and the characters in books are like people I know. When I write, I come up with plotlines and just plug in characters from other books, because I know who they are and what they would do. Growing up, these people were my friends. So, it's easy for me to switch back and forth between their mentality and my mentality.
This is a combination of the two women in the first two verses. I don't know where I come up with half of this. It just comes.
I thought it was important to show that she wasn't driving any more, she didn't have a racing crown. Obviously, she lost the race, but it was a good thing. She didn't want to be undefeated forever. She found love.