Sunday, February 15, 2015

Song #7: Golden (2015 52-song Project)

Happy Day After Valentine's Day!

I was tempted to post a break-up song today, but I have decided on a love song instead. If you were hoping for a break-up song, I recorded an entire album of them in 2008, called Love Bites (available on iTunes, CDBaby and Bandcamp). That album could have been a double album – I had the material, just not the resources to make Love Bites bigger. And sadly, I've written more break-up songs since 2008. I'm sure many of those songs will no doubt be included in this project at some point. But not today. No, today will be an old, sweet love-song of mine, Golden.

This song is not dated in my journal, but I know I wrote it in late July 1996. I was camping at Agawa Bay on the shores of Lake Superior with my then-partner. He and I were both in our early 20s and probably like a lot of smart, high-achieving young people we both tended toward perfectionism. Neither of us liked making mistakes.

It was a difficult trip – it was my first real camping trip (not counting a couple of nights with the Girl Guides and a couple of nights in the Sierra Nevadas with my dad and sister when I was 10). I was in a place that was very precious to my partner from his childhood. We had terrible (wet, cold) weather for the first three days, I felt sick and was very grumpy.

I felt bad about being so cranky. My then-partner made a mistake that he felt really bad about (which he asked me not to talk about ever again, so I won't). I wrote this song as a way to try to figure out and accept fallibility in our relationship. We do not always behave the way we want to behave, but that doesn't make us less worthy of love. (Sometimes our behaviour makes us impossible for another person to be in a relationship with us – but let us leave that for other songs.)

The title of the song was inspired by the way the sun would come out at sunset every day – even on the wettest, most miserable days. We would take a walk on the beach and a beam of light from the sun would seem to track us along our walk. I know this is just a function of the way human eyes perceive light, but it felt like magic, like grace.

Around the time I wrote this song, I took a songwriting course
with Peter Linseman through the Toronto Board of Education.
The notes in black ink above, were ideas that arose from that
course that I added to the song after I played it for that class.

Here is Golden:
As usual, the final lyrics are typed on on YouTube. Open the video in YouTube to read them. 

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