The hardest part of songwriting for me has always been the lyrics. If they don’t just come out all at once I almost never happy with them, and so the song never sees the light of day.
Most of the time I’ll have the guitar part that I’ll spend a lot of time on making it sound just right and hopefully interesting. It’ll be in the dock for a long time, sometimes years and the one day I’ll pick up my guitar and all the lyrics will come out in minutes and the song will be done. The Snake Song was like that three verses and a chorus in what could not have been more than 15 minutes.
It’s an amazing thing that happens and almost feels like some sort of magic.
I don’t think I’ve ever successfully sat down to write a song with a specific subject or theme. I’m amazed at people who can. For me, music comes from an non-conscious place that often surprises me more than anybody else.