A year ago, I wrote a not-that-happy-happy-new-year song, and I think it still rings true, perhaps even more so as we survive and struggle and thrive and push forward into 2017.

Here’s to us, my melting snow banks and shining January 1st stars. I love you so.

 

To Us (Happy New Year)

Happy new year! I wrote this wee ditty yesterday with all the best wishes for a new year of mess and beauty. To us!

Posted by Christa Couture on Friday, January 1, 2016

Lyrics:

Oh, our human ways that we tally up the days
We fold the corner of the page to keep our spot
And then we act amazed to see a number change
Like it’s us that’s rearranged when it’s not

I’m not one to tell you, hon, “it’ll be alright”
Of course it might be, but here’s the rub: not tonight

So happy new year to choices, to losses, and divorces
To all the best intent that missed the mark
Happy new year to brilliance, to stillness, and to sickness
To that which didn’t kill us that made us hard

No I’m not one to tell you, hon, “we’re in the clear”
Of course we might be, but here’s the rub:
Probably not this year

So happy new year to resentment, to enjoyment, disappointment
To all the best laid plans we won’t pull off
Happy new year to the weary, to fury, and recovery
To that which doesn’t kill us that makes us soft

Yes, to that which doesn’t kill us that makes us soft

I’m not one to tell you, hon, “don’t give up”
But if you don’t you’ll get the joke that is yet to come

Happy new year
Happy new year
To us.

A few weeks ago in Berlin I spent an afternoon with my friend Henry’s piano. I meant to be practising, but instead I wrote this little ditty for the afternoon.

Oh magnolia call me spring
Call me anything
And if you know the names of things
speak them now before the bell rings

Paper always tastes the same
No matter what words grace the pages

Oh magnolia show your light
Keep it on and keep it bright
’cause it gets cold here still at night
Where pianos come in black and white

Where paper always tastes the same
No matter what words grace the pages

Oh magnolia call me spring
Call me anything

The time is nigh! In three weeks we head into the studio to start recording The Living Record.

I’ve been rolling out details of the recording on Facebook  – so far that Niko Friesen will be joining me again on drums (he played on both Fell Out of Oz and The Wedding Singer and The Undertaker) and Rob Becker will be playing bass, electric and upright for those wondering. Also that after starting with a list of 20 songs, and recording demos of 14, Steve (that would be Steve Dawson who’s producing the album) and I narrowed it down to 12 that we’ll take into the studio.

Phewf.

Steve and I have started hashing out some ideas – here he is at his studio kindly tuning my guitar for me:

(Confession: I find changing the tuning on my guitar like playing Jack in the Box – a tense game of anticipation! It’s not often a string breaks, but the times it does it always manages to startle the bejeezus out of me).

Meanwhile, I’m practicing more often then I usually do (I can be terrible at such things) and because it was a cold winter day, lit a candle to warm my music room up a bit:

Isn’t it amazing how much heat can come off one little flame?

Upon lighting the candle, seated at my piano, intending to practice one of the 3 (of the 12) songs that are piano based, I instead began to sing something new. Always one to jump on distraction and procrastination, I followed that tune to its conclusion and then put it to tape – er iPhone – to share.

So here I am with that passing moment, that candlelit song – Come Here Little Shadow:

Lyrics:

Come here fire
Here candle light
Help me to stave off the cold
I’ve been singing for hours now
Trying for these songs to take hold
The good part I guess is that playing makes sense of these fears

Come here secret
Comer here little shadow
It’s time to pack up and go
I’ve been waiting
They’ll all be waiting
For us to put on a show
Ready, get set, practice makes perfect
And the best part still is that we get to make sense of our fears.

Well we try to.

 

Now back to work…