A lot of us are intense about music, whether or not we make music ourselves (there are so many ways to build your life around it). You meet people and, when they tell you what albums they love, their taste speaks volumes, right? It’s shorthand. We feel love and loyalty towards our favorite artists and experience a genuine, powerful sense of loss when they are gone.
Through my life as a musician, I have been drawn to fellow songwriters as friends, and it has been our songs that did the introducing, providing that very same shorthand. And one night, when I was up past any hour that would be appropriate to make a phone call, I realized I could go over to my stereo and put on something by one of my friends. And everything got better. Voilà. So this is a love song to records and the people who make them.
There is a teenaged boy who walks around my neighborhood. I see him in the day and in the evening. He usually has an iPod and is always alone. And when I see him I feel a pang because I remember being about his age and being alone a lot. Walking home from the movie theater, where I would go by myself. Taking my dog down the beach past all civilization, or silently through festivals and crowds, or around my neighborhood at night. I remember the feeling of passing houses full of activity and feeling so close and distant at the same time. By some mixture of chance and awkwardness, I went for years without having any real friends my age. It was music that both kept me company and eventually would be my bridge to finding people I could connect with. This song is about those nighttime walks and about the belief that a friend would eventually be found. There’s a nod to a much-loved friend who once told me she was so over-worked she felt like “a shell.”
OK, I’m cheating a little here in the efforts to get a defibrillator on my song blog. Sorry to be away so long. My good buddy/husband/drummer/former bassist/web designer/personal chef/mechanic/studio engineer Jay started a blog. It’s very neat and nerdy, just like Jay. He made a post about finding an old mic at the flea market and fixing it. He even got me to sing into it for his blog, so I am putting a link to that here.
Today’s song is one I played with The Verna Cannon. It’s about how fragile people can be when it comes to believing that they can sing. I was convinced that I could not sing after my teacher didn’t choose me to sing a solo line. It took years to build up the notion that I had the “right” to call myself a singer. And all around me I hear people dismissing their own abilities, declaring themselves unfit to sing. How does this happen? I, for one, want to hear you sing.
I have a band for kids called Lunch Money. But this is a song called “Lunch Money,” and while I’m sure many kids would relate to it, it might be just a tad too dark for a Lunch Money record. Dedicated to anyone who’s ever stared indignantly at the hair of the person who just cut in front of them in line. Triple H.G. Wells reference to boot!
Yes, I do rhyme “cat” and “mat” in this song. That’s kind of a joke, since I don’t insist on rhyming a bunch in general. I hope this song comes across – it kind of needs the band. It’s all about being married to someone you really like.