Threading the eye of the needle, building a scale model of the Empire State Building out of matchsticks, eating a bowl of minestrone soup in a wedding dress - sometimes in life, it pays to take your time.
On other occasions though, bashing something out at breakneck speed simply cannot be beaten.
Have you ever had that moment when you’ve been cutting wrapping paper and your scissors suddenly start gliding and it just feels like the most effortless, blissful thing in the world? Pretty nice, isn’t it?
The point is: There are times in life when everything just clicks; when it feels as if the stars have aligned and existence isn’t such a bloody struggle.
And the same can be said of songwriting.
Occasionally, if an artist gets lucky and if they pick up their instruments during one of these momentary sweet spots, then fully crafted classics can just come to them, falling from the sky entirely-formed into their laps like gifts from the musical gods.
It’s rare, of course, and it usually takes a prerequisite level of genius to get struck by these bolts of harmonious lightning, but over the years, these mini epiphanies have given us some of the greatest songs of all time.
10. Elton John - Your Song
Sometimes magic can be found in the most ordinary of places. Just ask Elton John, who wrote his unassuming ballad ‘Your Song’ one afternoon in his mother’s kitchen.
It’s hard to imagine now, seeing that the track would go on to become so deeply engrained into the collective psyche of the nation, but ol’ Reggie Dwight and his lyricist partner, Bernie Taupin, whacked this one out without even breaking a sweat.
According to Taupin, he sat at the kitchen table and scribbled down those iconic verses on a grubby piece of exercise paper in little to no time before handing over his handiwork and witnessing John sculpt one of the most recognisable pieces of piano music the world of pop has ever seen in ‘about 20 minutes’. It took me 20 minutes to write that intro and it’s crap.
The true mastery in the song comes from Taupin’s lyrical work though. So simple and yet so vital, it’s incredible to think that he was able to produce such a stunningly tender declaration of love that has resonated so strongly with so many people in such a short space of time.
As for Elton, he’s a bloody national treasure, isn’t he?