Perennial

Here’s a fun song I started last week. Nice to just finish it up and get it posted early this week because it’s a big busy week in my family’s life. Firstborn graduating from high school! And a party shall ensue! And I shall plan and produce it! (with appropriate help of course).

It’s an extra bit fun to post this on the first day of Pride Month because I wrote it to be gender/orientation-inclusive. Love is love!

Feels so good to want you when I know I’m gonna get you
All to myself
It hardly seems believable that someone like you lets me have you
All to myself

Don’t you know you’re truly beautiful
Shining brightly in my eyes
Darling aren’t we just enough of a
Good thing that keeps coming back

There’s things I’m gonna whisper when you bring your fine self closer
Aw, to myself
I’ve got some sweet ideas and I didn’t want to keep them
All to myself

Don’t you know you’re truly beautiful
Shining brightly in my eyes
Darling aren’t we just enough of a
Good thing that keeps coming back

I like the way you like the way I hold you when you hold me
Close to yourself

So if you’re going my way then I’ll keep on going your way
All by myself
Except you’re welcome here beside me anytime and always
Here, by my self

Don’t you know you’re truly beautiful
Shining brightly in my eyes
Darling aren’t we just enough of a
Good thing that keeps coming back

Somebody Loves You

The crooners sang “you’re nobody till somebody loves you,” and that can sound really quite heartless when you think about it.

But I’ve been thinking about other things lately, things that have influenced the writing of this song.

“Nothing stands alone” is this year’s topic for Richard Rohr’s daily meditations, which I read most days.

“We are all in this together. We are all in this alone,” sang Pierce Pettis in “Just Like Jim Brown.”

Every morning I roll out of bed and spend about 45 minutes doing exercises for a slightly arthritic knee, while listening to James Finley’s “Turning to the Mystics” podcast. Probably most of the reason I listen is for Finley’s voice and presence, and I know that things he’s said and ways he’s said them have contributed to this song.

The music came from a melody and chord progression I had rejected on my way to writing “Remember December.” I liked it enough to save the idea for future reference, and this week that musical idea and the #songaweek2022 weekly prompt (“standing in the doorway”) gave me enough to go on to pull this song together.

Frustrating technical difficulties with sharing this video here, but if you click on it you should be able to watch normally. It is more than a gray screen!

There must be something I could say to you
There must be something more that I could do
After all we’re all in this alone
Standing in the doorway leaving home

Somebody
Somebody
Somebody loves you

You’ve got the freedom and you’ve got the right
So go on and be the one to shine the light
After all we’re all a little scared
Standing at the bottom of the stairs

Somebody . . . loves you

And you’re not going anywhere without that love

After all we’re nothing on our own
Everything keeps breathing through our bones

Somebody . . . loves you

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 . . .

I Am Love

“I don’t even know how to talk to people anymore,” I heard someone say recently. And I feel that so much too. Not that I ever really knew how to talk to people! But whatever progress I had made in 45 years feels stunted after one year of social distancing.

Emerging from pandemic life, I feel awkward and unsure and even afraid, a little like I did back in junior high – what will people think of me? What if I say the wrong thing? Practically any time spent on social media these days only amplifies those feelings for me.

There’s a lot more I could (try to!) say about how and why I wrote this song, but to sum up, this was one of the few songs I’ve written that felt mostly like a complete gift from the blue – the comforting words I needed just showing up in my thoughts when I most needed them.

You don’t have to be right, you don’t have to be smart
You don’t have to be what you are, you don’t have to be what you aren’t
You are completely loved, you’re forever forgiven
My great heart is enlarged by your wondrous existence

I’m the last to judge
I’m the first to love 
I always was, I always will be
I am who I am

You don’t have to make sense, you can tell me what’s on your mind
You can never offend one who sees you from every side
And I love who I see and you’re not the only one
Take a look around, oh I feel this for everyone

I’m the last to judge
I’m the first to love 
I always was, I always will be
I am who I am

In the end all that it comes down to is love in everything

And that’s what the world needs, that’s what everyone’s wanting
It feels impossible but with me nothing
Is impossible, no it’s never been easy
but it’s simple enough for a child to see

I’m the last to judge
I’m the first to love 
I always was, I always will be
I am who I am