Happy New Year!
So, as I noted in December, each month I'm going to be featuring one of the songs from the record here on my website. I'll post the song on the site (you can hear it by clicking on "The Music"), and do a blog post with the lyrics and a little background about the song.
This month's song is called Granny's Song:
My grandmother, Jean Atwater, passed away in November of 2015. She knew her time was coming, and I would sometimes go sing her a few songs. One day she asked me if I could write a song about dying that was upbeat and positive — she felt like there were many songs about death, but most of them were not very happy (big surprise).
I'm usually a pretty slow songwriter. Many of my songs have taken months, even years, to go from inspiration to completion. But this one came together pretty quickly, probably less than a week. I tried to think about things that my grandmother had said, and put myself in her shoes a little bit.
Unfortunately, by the time the song was finished she had already lost a lot of awareness. I sang it for her a few times before she passed, but I'm not sure she really understood that this was the song she had requested. Nonetheless, I'd like to think that on some level she appreciated it.
This is the most "full band" sounding song on the album, and there are a bunch of awesome musicians on the track. Simon Chrisman, my longtime friend and hammered dulcimer virtuoso, is on bass; Tristan Clarridge, Simon's bandmate in The Bee Eaters and a many time national fiddle champion, is on the fiddle; awesome Seattle-based multi-instrumentalist Dave Keenan of the Downtown Mountain Boys joins us with his sweet sounding National guitar; and Johnny Bregar and Mike Derzon are on the vocal harmonies.
Well if you come around here late tonight
You might see my lights on
Oh I’m tired but I can’t sleep for looking out the door
Don’t want to wait no more
Well when the morning comes I’m gonna rise up
Like a bluebird to the sky
I got my traveling shoes, I’m going where the blues can’t find me
You won’t see me crying
Chorus: But don’t weep for me
‘Cause I’m ready to be free, and don’t be blue
I love this world
More than I ever knew, so just let me know
Before I go
That you love me too
Well there ain’t no car or train, there ain’t no aeroplane
Gonna take me on my way
And I haven’t been out walking in quite some time now
But I believe it’s the right time
I’m gonna walk and walk ‘til my feet can’t walk no more
All the way to that heavenly door
And these troubles in my heart have been my load to bear
But I won’t need them there
Said if you come around tomorrow night
You might see the lights on
Come on in and join the crowd and raise a glass or three
Drink to my memory