In 2017, Sharon began writing lyrics with Brooke Hatala, a 16-year-old artist from Sharon's town of Cary, NC. Brooke is managed by Red Light Management of Nashville and spends part of her time there. In July of 2017, she opened for legend Willie Nelson at a summer concert. Brooke and Sharon have written seven songs together so far. The two songs that Sharon co-wrote with Brooke and producer Billy Smiley are Just Hold Me & Stars Sharon also co-wrote a very special song with Brooke called More Than This (SoundCloud and video on this page), which addresses the issue of teen anxiety & depression and some of the pressures that teens are under -- and makes the point that teens are more than just their GPA or their athletic accomplishments: they are more than this. Brooke also recorded this song on her YouTube channel, and that version is found to the left. Sharon & Brooke's most recent song is What Would I Say to You? , which is the song playing when you first come on this page and can be found at the top of the page, as well as in slower version on a Youtube video on this page to the left. They are currently working on several other songs together. Brooke is now a junior at Belmont University in Nashville, where she also is working with a producer there.  Brooke and I are still working on several songs. This song called Different from the Rest is the most recent. Kind of a fun story-song. 

Brooke Hatala

What Would I Say to You? - Brooke Hatala
00:0000:00

Brooke was asked by ASCAP to perform at the iconic Bluebird Cafe in Nashville in December of 2017. She performed five songs, including an acoustic version of "Stars", one of the songs which Sharon co-wrote. Sharon was with Brooke and her mom at the Bluebird and was incredibly honored to have Brooke sing one of the songs they wrote together. An amazing experience. 

 Brooke singing at the Bluebird Cafe

Brooke sometimes records at Dark Horse Studios outside of Nashville, and Sharon loved visiting there with her and producer Billy Smiley and meeting some of the fabulous artists who record there. 

Also in 2017, Sharon worked with Chad Lister of Osceola Studios in Raleigh (along with owner Dick Hodgin) on two demo songs. She wrote the lyrics and discussed the music in great detail with Chad, and he and Dick produced the two songs:  an upbeat country song called "It's the Inside that Counts" and a heartfelt slow song about a relationship that is coming to an end called "How Does it Go?"  Both of these songs are available for established artists to record. Sharon also would welcome the opportunity to work with other songwriters on either of these songs (revisions to lyrics and/or melody) to further collaborate on them. Since these demos were recorded, I've revised the first verse of each of them. 

 

"It's the Inside that Counts" (copyrighted) is on the top track on the right. 

"It's the Inside that Counts" was selected by WQDR radio station, 94.7, in Raleigh, NC as a featured song on its Carolina Homegrown Series in August of 2017. Since Chad Lister was the singer, I arranged the interview with him, and that interview and the song are on the bottom track on the right. 

"How Does It Go?" (copyrighted) is the third track. Also performed by Chad. 

It's the Inside that Counts - Chad Lister, co-written by Sharon O'Donnell
00:00 / 00:00

Copyright, 2017

WQDR feature of It's the Inside that Counts - Chad Lister/ writer Sharon O'Donnell
00:00 / 00:00
How Does It Go? - Chad Lister, co-written by Sharon O'Donnell & Chad Lister
00:00 / 00:00

Some other lyrics that have done well in Nashville Songwriters Association critiques

 

Home Movies

 

Watching my grandpa’s home movies when the lights are dim,

Flickerin’ images appear, and I feel so close to him

Faces of the past appear before me even though there is no sound

From a time when I wasn’t yet around.

Grandma shellin’ peas on the front porch,

kids wrestling on the floor

Baby’s first steps and that New Year’s Eve it snowed

Visions from a long, long time ago

 

 

Extraordinary moments they thought were just routine.

Captured forever up there on the screen.

Moments turned to memories

Making the magic last

People and places of times gone past

Extraordinary moments they thought were just routine.

Captured forever up there on the screen.

 

A birthday party when my mother turned sixteen,

Blowing out the candles when she didn’t know me yet

Those flickering images up there on the screen.

Mama picking up seashells on the beach with me

Daddy in his favorite chair, my brother on his knee

Uncle Joe and Aunt Aileen slow dancing like a couple should

Their marriage didn’t last but I remember the times that were good

 

Extraordinary moments they thought were just routine.

Captured forever up there on the screen.

Moments turned to memories

Making the magic last

People and places of times gone past

Extraordinary moments they thought were just routine.

Captured forever up there on the screen.

 

Bridge:

The pictures go by too fast,

I wish that they could stay,

One scene goes to another

And then they fade away

 

Extraordinary moments they thought were (just) routine.

captured forever up there on the screen. 


 

Even Though You Don’t Remember


Even though you don’t remember, son
I recall every detail of those years when you were young
Rocking you to sleep at night, all those lullabies (that) I sung
Your first steps and your first words
Sweetest voice I ever heard
The way it felt to hold your hand in mine,
Sunny days when I’d take you outside to play
How I couldn’t wait to hold you after I’d been away

Chorus:
Even though you don’t remember . . .
I do.
Even though those times have passed,
I still look back and think of you.
I know we must move on and turn the page,
But how I miss you when you were that age
The moments you don’t remember now
Were some of the best times of my life.


Even though you don’t remember, dad,
I think of all those times you picked me up and carried me to bed.
You were so strong, like Superman and Hercules combined.
I remember all the good advice and all the things you said.
All the help with homework, shooting hoops out in the yard
How hard you worked to help me chase my dreams
It was long ago but yesterday it seems
How you stood right there beside me on my wedding day
But now when I look into your eyes,

you seem so far away

 

Even though you don’t remember . . .
I do.
Even though those times have passed,
I still look back and think of you.
I know we must move on and turn the page,
But how I miss you when you were that age
The moments you don’t remember
Were some of the best times of my life.


Bridge:
Did I savor those moments enough?
Wish I could go back and live them all again.
Just to see you like you were back then
 

 Even though you don’t remember,

I do

 

Elevator Ride

 

 Sittin’ in the lawyers’ office, just signed the papers today

Lookin’ ‘cross the table, wonderin’ how we ended up this way

Stepping on the elevator, just the two of us.

Staring straight ahead, nothing left to discuss.

At the top of a high rise, watching the numbers floor by floor

Empty feeling inside because we were no more

 

In the ups and down of life

we were side by side

In the ups and downs of life

God knows how we tried

In the ups and downs

In the ups and downs

Yeah, God knows how we tried

But we’re so far apart even though we’re side by side

on this elevator ride.

 

Then I felt your hand reach out for mine,

I grabbed onto it, and our fingers were entwined.

Staring at the numbers pass by, remembering all those years.

Squeezing each other’s hands as our eyes filled with tears.

Halfway down we stopped to let some people on

Wiped our eyes, composed ourselves, but the pain still wasn’t gone.

 

In the ups and down of life

we were side by side

In the ups and downs of life

God knows how we tried

In the ups and downs

In the ups and downs

Yeah, God knows how we tried.

But we’re so far apart even though we’re side by side

on this elevator ride.

 

Bridge:

Tryin’ hard to hold emotion in

Thinking about all that we had been

 

In the ups and down of life

we were side by side

In the ups and downs of life

God knows how we tried

In the ups and downs

In the ups and downs

Yeah, God knows how we tried

 

Walked off our separate ways with tears still in our eyes.

I’ll never forget the love we had that died.

Or my last time with you on that elevator ride.