laura's blog

The Skinny on the Songs

scribbled by laura on December 14, 2011

I thought it appropriate for my first blog post to talk a bit about the songs on Love & Other Things. One thing I love about music is the idea of listener interpretation — the songwriter has a particular vision when crafting the tune, but once it’s in the listener’s ears, it can take on an entirely new meaning. As a music lover, I always enjoy the “stories” behind the songs, so with that in mind, I humbly offer my stories:

By City or By Sea

This song was inspired by a friend who was having difficulty in his relationship. He told me he felt “unrecognizable” to himself, and that struck a chord in me. I began to think about the personal obstacles people face, and sometimes, we can be our own obstacles.

With that in mind, I wanted to write a song that would serve as a reminder that we all have hard times because life changes and can take us in so many different directions. The simple idea is that, no matter what you’re going through, I’ll follow you. And it’s not always about following, either. Sometimes, I think love means waiting for your partner. I wrote some of the song in the conditional and future tenses because of that sense of waiting. We all have things we need to work through on our own from time to time, and they don’t always involve our partners. But in the end, we want to support the ones we love on their journeys.

Anywhere you are, that’s where I’ll be.

Even if it’s in the waiting place.

Bedroom Light

This song is about a relationship that never manifests as the being the “one,” but it’s a relationship that stays with you. Some people come into your life and have a profound effect, and I’m a firm believer that people teach us lessons. It’s up to us whether or not we want to learn from them. The relationship in this song is strong. The lovers have a connection that can’t be shaken, but in the end, for whatever reason, the relationship just wasn’t meant to be.

To quote Stevie Nicks, “The feeling remains even after the glitter fades.” That’s the idea behind this song — the person just stays with you.

With every note I sing, you’re somewhere in the song.

I Take It All

This song stemmed from the idea that every person on this planet has a struggle of his or her own. Sometimes, we make choices that may seem unpopular, but they’re right for us. Sometimes, our struggles are silent. Sometimes, they’re posted on Facebook or Twitter for everyone to read. No matter how you choose to deal with whatever issues you face, it’s ultimately your battle to fight — your decisions to make. Regardless of what others may envision for you, you have to do what’s right for you.

So I see that the road that I am taking isn’t going where you thought that it would lead, for me
Oh but it’s all right, because I wake up every morning and decide that I am happy with my life, for me

Karen’s Song

As some of you may know, my sister, Karen, inspired this song. She and I occasionally talk about the common question we ask of strangers: “What do you do?” That question prompted me to think about judgments. The song is basically about not judging someone based on a moment in time – based on a singular impression. Humans are complex beings, and I started to think about the many pieces of my sister, but how do you truly define someone? I’m not sure it’s possible, so I used the metaphor of the “air” because it’s broad and ubiquitous. It represents life.

The song is written in the first person because it’s not just about Karen. It’s about all of us and self-concept in general. This “story” isn’t easy to explain, but I felt it was one that I needed to tell.

I am not the dark or the light; I am the air, and you are the kite. So hold on.

You Missed Out On Me

I was dumped, over AOL instant messenger, by a 30 year old man. There is a good way to end a relationship, and it doesn’t involve any kind of electronic messaging (or in the case of Carrie Bradshaw, a post-it note). This song tells the story of a relationship that didn’t work out. I understand that relationships don’t always progress as we hope, but there should be dignity in the relationship’s ending. I also understand the impact technology can have on our communication, but come on. Have the decency to end it either voice-to-voice or face-to-face. Coward.

And the jury finds that it’s really your loss, it ain’t mine.

I Love You (Yes, I Love You)

A simple song about the rush of a crush — the proverbial butterflies. :) The idea of walking into someone’s life and deciding to stay also hits home for me. Oftentimes, I hear couples talking about losing the butterflies they once had, and I’m sure that after many years of togetherness, the butterflies seem like caterpillars. The important thing is that you make a conscious decision every day to LOVE. Just like a car needs regular maintenance to keep it running well and avoid a breakdown, so does a relationship. I believe we have to decide to cherish one another.

It was fate, the day that you walked into my life and decided to stay.

All Over Again

This one is about appreciating all the little things your partner does for you (and puts up with)! From the times when you’re crying so hard that your face looks like a punching bag, to the times when you’re so happy you could burst, to the times when you’re so worried, you make yourself sick – to have someone who loves you no matter what and supports you through all those times is an incredible thing. To have someone who will wipe your tears, actively listen and share your emotion, and rub your belly when you’re sick – these things mean everything to me. I love the line from the movie Juno where Juno’s father tells her:

“Look, in my opinion the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what-have-you. The right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”

I couldn’t agree more.

And you don’t care. You only care for me.

Sleep Now

I wrote this to serve as a lullaby for someone you love. I wanted to write a song that might make someone feel better. This song was originally written during the making of Bittersweet and was supposed to be on that record, but I wasn’t happy with it. I’m glad I waited because I like its place among the other tunes on this album. It truly is a love song – the kind of love that comes from total comfort.

I’ll hold your hand and tell you all the things I love about you, god, the list is long.

Silly Song

Just a simple ditty! Many of my songs deal with issues on the sadder side of the emotional spectrum, and I just wanted something I could sing that would be fun and light-hearted. This was my attempt!

I’d like to sing a song with you.

12 Responses to “The Skinny on the Songs”

  • Great first post Laura! Can’t wait to read the future ones. Thanks for the explanation of “Karen’s Song”. There was a lot of debate with that one during our return trip from Philly. Looking forward to seeing you perform in the burgh later this month. BTW – love the new site!

    by

    slimjim

    on

    Thursday, December 15, 2011
  • Thanks for the explanations; always ponder what inspires a songwriter’s text.
    Now I just need to get my hands on the CD . . .
    I really liked the old site; getting used to the new site.
    Only suggestion I can make is to add tunes . . . please !!!
    THANK YOU for sharing your music.

    by

    Fred

    on

    Thursday, December 15, 2011
  • I love you. :)

    by

    Karen

    on

    Friday, December 16, 2011
  • and YES I READ YOUR BLOG NEH.

    by

    Karen

    on

    Friday, December 16, 2011
  • “Music is the poetry of the air.” ~ Johann Paul Friedrich Richter

    “Imagination is the highest kite that one can fly.” ~ Lauren Bacall

    The imagery of your exquisite kite swirling through her ethereal wind is so visually engaging. Thank you (& Karen) (& Nyke) for a truly lovely song. We’re all holding on!

    by

    SP

    on

    Friday, December 16, 2011
  • Glad to read this so I don’t have to ask about them all myself, lol. A beautiful, brief record with deep stories. Much love.

    by

    Joey M

    on

    Saturday, December 31, 2011
  • What a treat! I am always grateful when an artist opens up about the influences and meaning of their songs. Thank you! Makes listening even better :)

    by

    Ashley

    on

    Tuesday, January 31, 2012
  • I’m amazed…not only do you have a beautiful voice, but your lyrics are very inspirational. I recently bought your CDs on line and have not stop listening to magic of the heart that is the center of our motivation in a world where more love should be shown and expressed. Our relationships we develop in our journey through life is all that matters. We must always press “On and On”.

    by

    mark

    on

    Sunday, February 5, 2012
  • Hi Laura

    I love the song Learing and have never heard you explain where the inspiration for it came from. Can you fill us in?

    Thanks

    by

    Maura

    on

    Sunday, March 4, 2012
  • Hi, Maura.
    Thanks for the comment. Learning is one of those songs that’s a combination of a million things running through your head. It’s hard to give you a simple answer. It’s a lot about insecurity, uncertainty, and being your own harshest critic. I suppose it’s ultimately about dealing with the unknown in life and learning the lessons. The second verse in particular is in reference to my grandfather. I hope that helps clarify the tone a little for you. Thank you kindly for listening.

    Laura

    by

    laura

    on

    Sunday, March 11, 2012
  • Thank you very much!

    by

    laura

    on

    Friday, March 16, 2012
  • This song is about a maniacal person who obviously has very little or no social skills and has trouble building relationships. It’s all about how he is fascinated by someone, so much so that to posess them (you belong to me) he has to kill them to stop anybody else having them. To love someone so much that you have to kill to love. It’s a truly powerful emotion the person in the song is feeling. The song touches on burial and trophy collecting. This is common amongst serial killers. Ted Bundy killed and buried his victims in secluded areas no-one found until he told the FBI about them days before his execution. He would sometimes drive for hours at a time just to revisit the graves and brush the corpses hair, or paint their nails. He would do this until the bodies were completely decomposed. This possesion of the body, it made them “his”. He also kept trophys, sometimes body parts, mostly severed heads. He would keep these until again, decomposition made them impossible to keep. He would keep them in his appartment. Another killer, Ed Gein was so obsessed with his mother in a possesive way that it was suspected he even killed his own brother to gain her full attention and love, which she never adorned him with. After her death, he dug up the corpses of women who looked like his mother and kept body parts as trophys, making them into momentos and basic houshold items. The skin of one womans face was stetched and used as a lampshade. He had cereal bowls made from the top of skulls. Gein had classic personality dissorder and was unable to make friends or relationships. His mother would not allow him to mix with other kids or people in the town and kept him on the family farm for much of his younger years with only her and his brother as company. I beleive this song refers to these two, and possibly other serial killers. The raw emotion, the power this person has over his victim, his first. A chilling, but truly wonderful song and arrangement.

    by

    Micheal Kelly

    on

    Monday, July 8, 2013
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