Archive for November, 2010

Cover Song

November 1, 2010

[Excerpted from our newsletter.]

“Do you know any cover songs?”

Emily asked me that question at a point when I thought we had the set list for the Transplant House Benefit all set.  She knew the answer.  Yes.  Two songs.

When I was co-manager of The Songsmith (an extinct singer-songwriter venue in Scottsdale), more than once I lamented how this or that singer-songwriter needed to mix it up and do some covers.  For the diversity.

Now confronted as the singer-songwriter, I bristled.  “Why?  These songs aren’t good enough?” 

But she was right and I knew it.  Ideally, we should find a very familiar sing-along, but neither of our two cover choices is of that ilk.

Emily remembers me singing her to sleep with Jackson Browne’s, “Song for Adam.”  She likes my version better than Jackson Browne’s.  She also likes Kraft macaroni and cheese better than gourmet truffle mac and cheese. It’s what she’s used to.  I rarely sing that song, but have never forgotten it because it reminds me of my best friend growing up.  But not a good song for next week’s set.

The other choice is “Hope for Morning” by Christopher Williams, a singer-songwriter I met in my “Songsmith” days, and a great guy.  Emily and I have performed this song in the past and I have recently re-learned it, I think in anticipation of just this scenario. Not a mainstream song by any means, but I penciled it in on the set list. It is a song that (not oddly) seems to mean different things to different people.  In a strictly literary sense, it is vague, but, unlike a short story or memoir, a song can get by with vague, as long as it carries a feeling.  Often performed at weddings, according to Christopher, “Hope for Morning” is actually about his grandfather.  Go figure.   Killer first verse:

When the orange glow of the sky

Turns from sunset to city light

And the moon slowly rises through the trees.

When the clenched hands of the day

Have released the stars to play

And night rides on a gentle breeze.

Hold my hand and whisper my name.

I promise you that I will always love you the same.

Close your eyes and look for nothing more.

Let my gentle spirit give you the wind to soar.