Each of my songs are pure inspiration. They emerged in their own authentic way. At once. My method is to go with it and let it take me on these wonderful little journeys. Sometimes to the most unpredictable conclusions. I like surprises! Writers have many different methods of composing. Some are deliberate and analytical. Not me. I am free fall into the wind. Probably why I love birds so much. Every flight is a leap of faith. Every song is a leap of faith. Below are the afterthoughts of the inspiration.
Prelude To Your Kiss. The kissing part is easy. Arriving at the millisecond right before that expression can have so many diverse paths but when that moment is realized then the symbolic kiss is the least powerful of that equation between two people. It is what is manifest in that moment, everything.
Sail Away. Guitarist John Tropea has been a friend of mine for a very long time. He captures the free stream of consciousness on his guitar in this song as I imagine riding the notes as if riding on the waves. When I wrote this song I conjured the seacoast town where I grew up in Maine. Casco Bay was always full of sailboats with the white billowing sails moving slowly across the sunny sparkling sea. This memory came from Cousins Island where I would collect shells and hold them to my ear to listen to the ocean as a child.
Cool Night. Inspired in part by the children’s story “The Nightingale and The Rose” by Oscar Wilde. Loneliness and the quest for a magic solution to which there is none really. The lengths we go to in that pursuit of a mythical perfection. I remember hearing Mr. Sandman on the radio when I was a little girl. Funny how childhood memories never ever leave you but find their way from your subconscious into the now. I just loved the idea of a “Mr. Sandman”. So this is about falling asleep and allowing all the thoughts and melodies to serve as lullabies. Listening to the sounds outside, seeing the glow of a streetlamp and a couple embracing within that halo. I remembered being alone. The nightingale. Sometimes you just can’t sleep so I just surrender and swing!
Ceyx and Alcyone is one of my favorite Greek myths. It is a tragedy that ends in resurrection. I hope you look it up. A couple is separated through war. One dies and is washed towards shore and as the other wades through the tide to reach him, as they touch they both fly away as birds. So beautiful. This song is about that power of love that truly transcends everything beyond this life.
Forgiveness. The catalyst for this song was a girlfriend who had just found out that her husband had been a serial cheater. They had been a happy wonderful couple for many years or so she thought. She struggled with forgiveness. It is a universal struggle no matter the situation. The artwork with this song is a painting of a bridge in my hometown that crosses the Royal River. A large brick factory looms at the foot of the valley there. As a little girl I was in a car accident on that bridge and we almost went over onto the falls. I was thrown out of the car and a teenage boy carried me up the steep hill to old Doc Freeman. He gave my arm one yank and lined up the five breaks. The next day I went to the hospital. It reminded me of all the hurts in life and how that river leads to Casco Bay. A huge place, like collective love filled with potential forgiveness. Like a heart with no real boundaries or limitation. What that little valentine symbol really represents. Yet, It is hard to forgive sometimes. Not sure which is more difficult to forgive or to forget.
Drop Of Rain. This was inspired by how much my daughter Lily loves the rain. My husband used to take her out to the garden we had at our 89th street apartment in the NYC. They would just stand in the rain together. It was their thing. Still is. I thought about how extreme the weather has become and wondered how we truly can preserve those normal drops of rain, our planet. It is my environmental cri de coeur. So that our world can have those moments of innocent drops of rain on a child’s face forever. Not a devastating flood or tornedo.
Ordinary Life. This pays homage to the joy of being a mom and a wife. Early in my career; I was offered different music business things, record deals, management deals-In the midst of it all I bumped into a guy in my building on west 83rd street. (An artist) We fell in love, got married, had a child, I went back to college, got a degree in psychology then a masters in gerontology, lived life, cared for my terminally ill mom for 7 years until she passed and all of those parts of my life took priority in my quest to live a life rich in meaning and purpose. I am lucky to have endured and to be enjoying this ordinary life, which has not been without many challenges. Hence “I am walking the road to Judgment Day” along side you.* I have learned it is possible to do many things in this life but for me just not all at once.
Dannemora Love Song. The prison break was all over the news a couple of years ago. A female prison worker had engaged in an illicit affair with two inmates of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora NY. Love makes people crazy, or maybe it is lack of love and desperation. She assisted in a prison break and they were all supposed to flee to Mexico. She chickened out in the end and they were left to their own devices once they escaped. Tragic story but I mean really who out there hasn’t chosen the wrong guy before? She and one of the prisoners are in prison. The other prisoner was killed by police. I wonder what made her do this. She was married and had a son at home.
Without Words. This is my love affair with musicians. I love them through the music.
Three Kings of Cool. I was inspired by “We three Kings of Orient are”. I remember sitting in the Baptist church community room in Yarmouth with all the other children where we would recite scripture and sing songs before we were allowed to join the adults and choir in the actual church. I loved singing together. I would get goose bumps. I remember in junior high we were singing an anthem and I started to cry. Music gets me to the core. I listened to lots of classical music and jazz at home on the farm where we lived. We had a red piano in the barn. That is where I first played music. It was then that I turned Heart and Soul into a swingin’ version. Today Three Kings of Cool swings!