However, having turned to go back to his chair, he immediately turned back to me and said the words that I've made the title of this post as they really got me thinking, about (a) whether those particular lyrics are in fact any more personal than any other of my songs, and (b) whether a song can be too personal.
The truth is, for most of my songs, I take a small piece of factual information - from my own life or someone else's - and spin it into a 3- or 4-minute story that often takes off in a direction I hadn't anticipated when I wrote down the first few words that inspired the song. That can feel magical as the song takes on a life of its own, and in my case it does often tend to go down the road of poignancy. I don't stop it going where it naturally wants to go, though I do love the editing process that involves chiselling the rough shape into something more refined, and usually even more poignant!
I've taken to describing my songs as 'songs of heartache, humour and hope', and those three H's do seem to cover the range. The latest one tends more towards hope (and a fourth time, I say 'Hooray!'), and maybe that's where, to me, it doesn't feel too personal, as it's more speculative than anything. Listeners need to be able to relate the message of the song to their own lives, and if they can't because the details are so clearly about the person singing the song, then I think it can be too embarrassingly personal. But in this case it's a take on young versus more mature love - and that, hopefully, is how my listeners, the majority of whom, let's face it - like me - are of a certain age, will hear it!
I may update this on the basis of the critical feedback I get this afternoon from my London songwriter friends. For now, though, long live personal songs! They never did Joni Mitchell any harm, after all!