The Worry & The Joy: How a sleepless night became a song

 

I am an early riser. Usually awake, eyes closed, before the sun comes up. I’ll stay in bed and listen for the first bird to sing. It’s my favorite thing. I’ll picture a bird standing in a tree, chest out, singing, beaming, and I’ll send it a high five (a high wing?). The first bird to sing in the morning is the bravest bird, I think.

There was a string of days last summer when I wasn’t sleeping at all. Nothing worked. I’d just lay in bed, saying rosaries, listing all the things I was grateful for in alphabetical order. One night I just got up, opened a notebook and started writing things down.

A few days later I was talking about it with musician and songwriter Dave Willis, wondering if there was a song in there.

Days later he texted a phone recording he’d made. I could barely hear the thing, so I pressed the phone hard against to my ear to make it out. As I listened, I smiled. That was it. It was a song, but we’d need to hurry it up to get it on the the record we were making for our band, Wurlitzer Prize.

On a hot July day, on the last day of recording, I was driving I-40 from Greensboro to Winston, singing, working out the harmony and writing the second verse. I walked into the studio and Willis, Jared Church and Brent Buckner and I literally put the song together as engineer Doug Williams at Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders wrangled the board.

When I hear that recording now, I can hear my own hesitation, second-guessing the melody, the lyrics I’d written on the car ride over. And that’s what I love about it. You can hear the worry and the joy.

I hope you can hear it, too.

Come celebrate with us “The Worry & The Joy” CD release
Friday April 28 at Doodad Farm in Greensboro, NC
Mama Molasses opens
with special guests from The Piedmont Land Conservancy

APRIL SHOWS

Thursday, April 13
Trunky (Transgender Junky), author reading with Sam Peterson
Music with Sam Frazier
LGBTQ Center of Durham, Durham, NC
6:30 to 7:30 pm
Information

Friday, April 21
Wurlitzer Prize
Brews & Bubbles event supports the conservation efforts at the Greensboro Science Center
Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro, NC
7 to 9 pm
Tickets 

Tuesday, April 25
Wurlitzer Prize on Bull City Cosmic Hoedown
WXDU Durham 88.7
7 to 8 pm
Listen in

Friday, April 28
Wurlitzer Prize CD release
Doodad Farm, Greensboro
6:30 to 10 pm
Information

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