I wrote my very first song in my senior year in high school. I think my English teacher was surprised when I showed up with an Elizabethan-style musical rendition of Ophelia’s mad scene from Hamlet instead of the expected essay.
Playing the Priest in Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage in college, I was offered the option of writing music for my character’s song. The idea I submitted was adopted by the grad student who had been retained to write the score. I got a credit in the program.
Around the turn of the century, I wrote a story about a Beautiful Princess who informed me that I was to write a musical about her called, fittingly enough, “The Princess Musical”. After a short time, I decided to take composition and music theory classes at the Mannes School of Music. I also began to write cabaret songs some of which were performed by people other than myself! About 10 years later, I released a CD of those songs entitled “I Lose My Heart (and other body parts…) The Songs of Paul Bodden”.
My songs show the influence of my wide-ranging musical interests below, all mixed-up with a big dollop of modern classical music and the whole Broadway musical canon.
BLUES Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters, Mississippi John Hurt.
JAZZ Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald.
POP Fats Waller, John Bucchino, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell.
THEATER Kurt Weill, Harold Arlen, Frank Loesser, Ricky Ian Gordon, Gilbert and Sullivan, Rodgers and Hammerstein