Fans are often curious about how I write and what inspires songs. My talented website designer Katherine suggested that I write a "Behind the Song" blog to give fans a behind the scenes look at how certain songs came into being.
So, I'll start with one of the funniest inspirations I can share, and it is about one of my most popular songs "Wiggle Worms." For many years, I worked two days a week as an early childhood music teacher at Isidore Newman Lower School in New Orleans. It was in March when, as all teachers know, the children get wiggly and giggly in springtime. On one particular day, my Kindergarten students were especially wiggly, and I said to them, "You all are a bunch of wiggle worms today." Well, that made them laugh hysterically and they started wiggling more. Note to self, if you want children to be calm, do not suggest they are wiggle worms!
After class, I went to the gym at Loyola University near the school. I was on the treadmill running a nice steady pace. My feet on the treadmill made a rhythm pattern that sounded like, "boom-chac-a-lac-a-lac-a, boom-chac-a-lac-a-lac-a," and upon hearing this, I started singing, "Wiggle worms, wiggle worms, wiggle worms, wake. Wiggle worms, wiggle worms, wiggle worms shake." The lyrics to the song flowed out of me easily as I was running and visualizing my students wiggling and giggling in my music class. Presto! I had a song.
I then had to get off the treadmill, go to the front desk and ask for a pen and paper to write the song down. It was an instant hit with my students that week, especially since they knew they had been the inspiration for the song. Needless to say, that class time was even more wiggling than the previous, but at least the wiggles were choreographed into a song.
The song has been a hit ever since. Often when I give concerts at schools, students will call me "The Wiggle Worm Lady." I like that just fine. The truth of the matter is, I really am a wiggle worm just like my students. The song became so popular that when I created my own record label, I named it "Wiggle Worm Records."
Inspiration can come at any moment and from countless sources, even from little wiggly students on a fine spring day.