Barry Manilow – I Write The Songs

Barry Manilow enjoyed a Billboard #1 with this song, back in 1976. The irony is the song is about the narrator moving the world with his songs, when the performer didn’t write this one. Beach Boy Bruce Johnston did.

Many a politician is credited with delivering a passionate, fiery, candid, eloquent, literary (and so on) speech. Yet most did not write those words either. Politicians have staff to write what comes out of their mouths. We then might ask of our elected representatives, how much do they really know? And are they really that charismatic? We sometimes see bumbling when they go “off script.”

The most well-known speech writer of contemporary times may be Peggy Noonan, who wrote for President Ronald Reagan. Later, a Canadian speechwriter came up with the “axis of evil” soundbite for President George W. Bush, but couldn’t stay in the shadow that is the office of the ghostwriter. When David Frum, hubris afflicted, revealed the words were his own, he lost his job. In the same way, actors forget they are being fed lines; politicians can make believe the messages from the teleprompter they are reading are their own work. In academia, that’s plagiarism. In politics, it’s part of the game.

Perhaps the last laugh goes to the Beach Boy, who has claimed the person writing the songs is not a person at all, but God! That sure trumps the audacity of Manilow’s cover, the egos of politicians and the conceit of Frum and other speechwriters with big mouths. Ha!


4 thoughts on “Barry Manilow – I Write The Songs

  1. i realize that no one wants to read any more bullshit about the guitar thing, but my god…..i really really miss larry carlton. i know, i know, i know that the guitar afficionados here on the gb will tell me how larry’s solo stuff was all light jazz treacle and mindless fluff, things change, people evolve, but the tracks he laid down for donald and walter as an accompaniment to their wonderful compositions were immeasurable. to me there is something almost sacred about the masterful solos on kid charlemagne, don’t take me alive, and haiitian divorce. can there never be a sense of ownership? larry carlton owns the aforementioned songs as surely as mssers fagen and becker. who can deny that? jon herrington is a gifted guitar player but larry carlton’s interpretation of steely dan’s music is magical.

  2. This song is NOT about a any PERSON that writes the song this song is about MUSIC…MUSIC writes the songs that make the whole world sing. listen to the lyrics..”I am MUSIC and I write the songs.”

    • Hello and thanks for reading this post. More, thanks for your critique of the meaning of this song. It is certainly misunderstood by most and I appreciate your insight and clarification.

    • HOW can a music itself write songs??? With what means??? Since songs are music so does it sing about itself? No really, I’d like you to explain to me, please. This explanaition 12is obviously he most unfortunate excuse for a conceited person pouring this out their pen and mounth. People write music. Music doesnt write itself

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