January Love Song

Cat videos! Why didn’t I think of that ages ago? I didn’t feel like filming the actual recording of this week’s song so I did some hunting on publicdomainreview.org and found this adorable film from around 1945. I fully expect that my video will go viral because, did I mention, cat video!

This is my first song for #songaweek2022! It was a difficult one to title because there’s no repeating hook – every little two-line chorus is different words. If anyone has a different title idea I’d love to hear it. Titling songs is not always so easy.

You’ve got a way about you
That I think I’d like to go
Ooh when you take me to you
Time takes us in a whole other flow

I can’t say how it feels to you
But it feels to me like we might be in love

Love is a happy apple
Tough as a bowling ball
Sweet as a baby’s babble
Right as the rain that finally falls

This after all is all we are
And we are all we’re after all this time

We’ve gone so far my darling
I’m so far gone with you
Stay with me till the morning
Let the minutes spread out and fatten around us

I can’t say what the future holds
But I’m holding on with you for this dear life

Who Loves You

“Against” is not necessarily a negative word. Nor is “close.” I was thinking about this when I jotted down the first verse of this song months ago. You can lean against someone for comfort or protection or just to feel cozy. You can sit close, draw close, in love; rather than close your mind or your heart or your door. The hard s or the soft s, the adjective/adverb or the verb – they all come from the same Latin root.

The prompt for week 48 of #songaweek2021 was “tell me everything.” When I sat down to write my song last week, I revisited that first verse idea and then looked up the prompt for development ideas. I wanted each verse to set up some sense of juxtaposition – things that feel at odds that actually aren’t in a true love relationship (which is not at all limited to romantic ones). So the prompt helped me write verse two.

As I was playing the first two verses the song felt a lot like a lullaby. The first verse felt reminiscent of late nights holding my second baby, who would wake up crying hard and long and simply would not be comforted. I ached for him to just relax into my arms, against the warm loving body of his mother, but he’d twist and fight until he wore himself out.

I can be that baby too, with the people closest to me. I don’t want to open up and share my pain and mess with you. I just want to blame you for it, pick a fight to use up some of this bad energy I’m feeling.

Verse two describes the kind of loving conversation I think crying babies like me most need – a listening ear and heart, a recognition that you can never completely understand but that you want to know me. “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity,” said Simone Weil.

The juxtaposition in the first lines of the last verse may feel harsh on the first listen. But we all know it’s true, in any and every relationship – and I think in the most deeply loving ones we find gentle honesty about it. The song ends with a reminder that morphs into a question that is also about paying attention.

Lean up right against me
You don’t need to fight against me
Come close, don’t close yourself away

Tell me everything
You don’t need to speak a word
I know, I’ll never understand

I am here for you
Until I am gone away
You know I’m not the only one
Who loves you . . .

Out With It

Here’s a song for the beloved conflict-fearing member of a relationship. It’s not an anthem for the general public. We’re living in a moment that rewards or at least amplifies hostile venting in our public spaces, both physical and virtual, and that isn’t what I’m singing about here.

This is about the person who fears conflict, and so keeps to themself about difficult things, unresolved hurts, unrevealed personal truths, for fear of rejection or causing pain, or whatever other reasons. It’s about the value of opening up about these things in the context of a supportive relationship. I’ve been on both sides of this and I’ll bet most people have in some way, at some time. We’ve all been the person holding back an important but painful truth from a loved one, its persistent psychic presence growing heavier as we keep trying to manage it alone. We’ve all been the loved one who feels something is wrong and begs for openness, or has no idea something is wrong until the painful truth comes out in an often more painful and unexpected moment.

Also, would you believe it, I followed the prompt once again! (Week 45 #songaweek2021, “out of sight”). The video is a 1927 instructional video about using a dial telephone. I didn’t have much time for recording or filming this week but I much prefer posting songs to YouTube rather than Soundcloud so I wanted something visual to go with it. And the experience of talking on the telephone has always made me nervous, something like discussing difficult things with loved ones.

If there’s something you’ve got to say by God let’s hear it
Chances are it’s not as horrible as what could happen if we don’t
If you keep on trying to hide your troubled spirit
It’ll cut you like a broken bottle settling in your soul

Out with it, out with it
It’ll do you good
Out with it, out with it
It’ll do you good

I can’t guarantee that I’ll be understanding
But you’ve got to give me something to go on if I’m going to try
Time has ancient ways of making sense of
The words we heard in ragged moments that have passed us by

Out with it . . .

Here’s the truth, I love you and I’m with you
Nothing you can say hurts worse than finding I’ve been left behind
I know it’s hard to bring out in the open
But keep it out of sight, it might drive you out of your mind

Out with it . . .

Perfect Pretend Night

I got Nathan to play along on this one so it’s officially a Cabin of Love song! And just indulged in old romantic movie scenes for the video. Sabrina, The Philadelphia Story, and Roman Holiday are the movies these snippets came from.

Let’s pretend that we’re all alone
And there’s nothing to see on our shiny phones
And the children have all gone to bed
And there’s visions of each other dancing in our heads

And we know just what to do
And we feel a love so true
And the stars are shining bright
On this perfect pretend night
Buh duh duh dum bah bah bah dum

You go first and I’ll follow you
To the ends of the earth in these dancing shoes
That we’re making believe are on our feet
While we’re moving to a rhythm oh so slow and sweet

And we know just what to do . . .

Who cares the weather or how we feel
This is our secret world and we make it real
So let there be light in each other’s eyes
And magical nights under black velvet skies

And we know just what to do . . .

Soonwego

I took a couple weeks off of songwriting and social media and a lot of other things to pile into a van with my husband, kids, and dog and drive across the west. It was an amazing road trip and inspired this song for week 28 of #songaweek2021.

It gets a little relationally hard-hitting and frank in the second verse. My songs aren’t always autobiographical but in this case it is. I hesitated to make the song public at all because of this, but after sharing it first with Nathan and asking for his go-ahead, I’m putting it out there. I’ve always been a bit of a drama queen and so all kinds of things cross my mind, especially in hard moments – and I think it’s helpful to be honest about this so other dramatic souls out there can maybe feel a little less afraid of what goes on in their own inner worlds.

The old neighbors are packing it up
and the new coffee shop is hopping with hipsters
It’s a beautiful day in this mountain town
and I don’t miss living here

I didn’t leave my heart in Loveland
It’s been traveling a long long time
so on we go

The Great Salt Lake was all around us
when I was crying a river cause I couldn’t feel your love
while you were searching for the perfect words
and the quiet lied to me

I didn’t leave you there in Utah
though I surely did think of it
so on we go

Everywhere and everyone I take my heart to
leaves a mark
and it hurts
from the love
or the lack thereof
and it stings
and it sings
like every precious thing

The Golden Gate is red
the Redwoods are a national treasure
on the mountain of the devil
we touched the face of God

I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco
I was only just passing through
so on we go