I went through a long period of time without singing. At all. Quite a few years, actually. Then a couple of my friends asked me to sing at their wedding, and I couldn’t imagine singing effectively unaccompanied, and I’m not a good enough guitarist to learn a piece written by someone else, so I felt obliged (and honored, of course) to write a piece for them.
This is not that piece.
This song was written a couple of days after the wedding, when I was made to confront my feelings of deep isolation and general strangeness. At the same time, I had also recently discovered that I had some kind of sense of connection to the story of Emily Dickinson. I had recently seen an interesting work performed by a supposed “expert” on Dickinson, and while the piece was certainly powerful, as I watched I kept feeling as though I was “off” or “wrong”, and I couldn’t understand why that would be, since at the time I knew nothing of the author except a fraction of one of her most famous poems.
I’m not a fan of poetry. I like lyrics.
So, anyway, I ended up researching Dickinson after I saw the work, and her story clung to me and somehow infused this song also.
I’d like to definitively state that this song is not about her. I’m not sure whom the song is about. Possibly me? Probably me.
This song was originally written back in the mid-90’s, and the guitar I wrote it on had a warped neck (which I never realized, because at the time, my ear just wasn’t trained enough to be able to hear it. Le sigh.) So while I’m putting this out here in the world, the vocal melody has serious issues, since this guitar has fantastic intonation. I like the sentiment of the song, the lyrics, the strum pattern…but, yeah. I just don’t know if I’ll ever be able to re-work this so that it can actually…work.
The recording above was also done around 2009, before I got my new camera. I’m not sure the off-shoulder blouse was a good decision, either. But, hey, let me know your thoughts.
I wrote this song a few years ago during a stressful time in my life, when it felt like I couldn’t manage all the demands life was putting on me: Motherhood, working, relationships. Especially relationships. I’ve been in a number of highly abusive relationships over the years, and it took me a long time to see how an abuser identifies their victim/partner in the early stages. These “red flags” were nearly invisible to me for far too long.
So…blood and stars. Stars in the sense of stars in the sky, or stardom in the world, but also the stars you might see when given a blow to the head. I found it a powerful message. I hope you do as well.