Trouble

Oh this one was fun to make! My amazing daughter Luthien, with her dad’s help, worked out a cello part and recorded her first-ever cello track. And then Nathan threw in all those sweet guitar tracks, in just a few hours! Visions of a family band are most certainly dancing in my head.

Here’s my song for week 31 of #songaweek2016:

 

Places I’ve Lived, People I’ve Known

Oh I wish you all could have been there last Friday night! Music in the garden at my parents’ house in Minnesota. It was a hot and sticky evening but we had so much fun. My dad used his phone to record Nathan and me and my parents’ neighbor Earl playing the song I wrote for week 29 of #songaweek2016.

Wish we had also recorded a song we did later, with us three plus friend Kirk on accordion and brother-in-love Micah on a second guitar – Purple Rain by Prince. Bet you’ve never heard Purple Rain with accordion before!

Driving down the street with my out-of-state plates
feeling newly out of place
looking at the flowers in my old front yard
and remembering my life lived in that space
home is not a dead-end road
the road home leads you back or leads you on

Places I’ve lived, people I’ve known
everything’s changed, everyone’s grown
how was this ever everything,
how can I ever go home?

Running through the park on my middle-aged legs
going faster than before
stopping for a drink at the Mineral Springs
where the legend says the healing waters pour
home is not a stagnant pool
the river home will take you where it will

Places I’ve lived, people I’ve known
everyone’s changed, everything’s grown
how was this ever everything
how can I ever go home?

the sun still comes up, the dogs still bark
the kids still play in the same old parks
the old men still park themselves out front
but they’re not the same old men

Sleeping tonight in my old bedroom
where the shadows know my name
praying for peace with a jaded tongue
dreaming with the heart of a child I’ll never tame
home is not a prison cell
the doors of home can open either way

Places we’ve lived, people we’ve known
we have all changed, we have all grown
how can anything be everything,
how can we ever go home?

Don’t Forget

Sundays are usually tiny vacation days for me, in which I don’t check email or go on social media. So I didn’t hear the news about the Orlando shooting until I was checking email at breakfast this morning. Tears with my coffee.

The song I wrote for Week 23 of #songaweek2016 was submitted on Saturday, but I offer it here as a little lullaby in the face of the tragic news we are all processing.

Hymn Number 22

It’s been too long since Nathan sang along on one of my recordings. I won’t easily forget the night he recorded his vocals on this song, while I sat on the couch nearby, snuggled up with the dog and reading H.G. Wells. The process of creating these songs – not just the writing, but the recording and collaborative arranging – is something I simply love, a deeply fulfilling way to spend my time.

This song felt very hymn-like to me, and it’s week 22 of #songaweek2016, thus the title.

Rain falls on the righteous and wicked alike
’cause each of us is righteous and wicked
Sun shines in the daytime moon glows at night
each of us needs light and dark

Hallelujah, Amen

We’re born in a moment we cannot remember
we’re laid to rest in tombs of unknowing
we spring from folded bud through full-bodied summer
then fall asleep in winter’s deep embrace

Hallelujah, Amen

So play for us the songs you hear, paint the colors in your visions
write us the stories you find in the world
With broken brushes, bleeding pens and battered instruments
we’ll build a blaze and gather round for warmth

Hallelujah, Amen