Sunday, April 10, 2011

Song #14: Tiny Bird

When I sit down to write the words to a song I have no choice but to let the music itself do the writing. The music always is trying to say something but needs a translator such as myself to communicate the song’s story. I really have no choice in the matter- if I try and impose my own story onto a piece of music that is already telling a different story the result is confusing and never works. Of course, being that everything is everything and that one can find the whole world within a grain of sand, at times can be quite easy to find myself in the story that the song is insistent on telling. However, the fact remains that many of these stories are not my stories at all, there are times when I have trouble relating to the story in a personal sense- it is someone else’s story, some stranger’s struggle and victory and I am happy to relay the story for them.

This was certainly the case for this song. Evan came up with a brilliant melancholic tune that transforms into a jazzy groove and from the moment I heard it I knew what story the song was trying to tell (at least the story it was trying to tell me, perhaps other translators would have heard something else)... the story it was trying to tell was the story of the Tiny Robin.

The song has consumed me this week. The first part of the song left me in a state of creative hemmoraging, it flowed out of me without barrier. The second part of the song however, and what turned out to be the bulk of it, was groovy as hell but it wasn’t screaming at me to relay a message... I was at a loss. I spent days listening to the same 3 bars of music over and over waiting for it to whisper in my ear but nothing came. It was only when I heard my wife humming soulfully in the background over the music I had set on repeat that it became obvious that this section of the song was not for me... it was for Michelle Dack. I asked her to come into my studio space and once she had stood squarely in front of the microphone I pressed record and asked her to basically hum whatever was there for her. We did this only once and the melody she had come up with combined with her vocal tone was exactly what I needed to hear the other half of the story and so I took each syllable from her original freestyle humming session and attached the words. Every “dee” “dum” “oh” “ahh” and “la” received a new symbol, one found within the bounds of the English language and in the end the rest of the story was told. Thank you so much to my amazing wife and muse, Michelle Dack... you kicked some serious ass on this song.

I hope you all enjoy this song. This song is not about a truth but a perspective of hopelessness and detachment. It is about a couple looking, with somewhat of a resigned and cynical view, to the future they believe is culturally inescapable.

Much Love. Happy Sunday Evening.

Title: Tiny Robin
Length: 3:56
Contributions: The Screaming Room (a particularly generous contribution by Michelle Dack). Artwork- Thanks to Jordan Westre for the amazing artwork that accompanies this song.


I would just read the paper in the kitchen,
And sip on my coffee and build my opinions,
And let the headlines interact with my bio that the world wrote some time ago.

And you would be rushing with your toast and briefcase,
So conscious of the lines that your holy smile makes,
And you'd spend your days becoming the master of... doing a thousand things .

The kids would be happy and we would be jealous now,
We would resent the wise things that they'd tell us 'bout,
We'd say the right things and think the wrong things,
And they'd be loved.

And we'd go to work, the kids would go to school,
for the most sacred hours, for our awakened hours.
And we would reconvene and as if we knew each other,
Just to fall asleep.

And we would make love like they told us on TV,
You'd wear the good stuff and I'd say the right things,
And I'd love you deeply, too deep for you to see,
We'd be the lucky ones.

What shall we do with this tiny robin?

Id live my life,
And you'd live yours...
I'll be home,
When you're gone.

We'd lose track of the dreams we once had,
As the days roll on,
And the years, and then gone.

And I'd smile, and you'd smile
just to fool ourselves,
I'll be home,
When you're gone.

I would try so hard,
To be all that a good wife should be,
But you'd lie, and I'd leave.

What should we do with this tiny robin?

And I would just live and do what Im supposed to,
Laugh at the right times and speak when I'm spoke to,
And do what it takes to prove to the world that I'm a "good man".

And I would just live and do all that I should do,
Scared to look too close at all that I could do.
Put on a brave face and prove to the world that Im a "strong woman".

And we would make love like they told us TV,
You'd wear the good stuff,
And I'd say the right things,
And I'd love you deeply,
Too deep for you to see.

So what shall we do now with this tiny robin,
That shoe box aint doing too much for this orphan,
We've fed her for months but summer is over and its time to pack it in,

So leave her some food and a few shiny things,
A bed made of cotton for her useless wings,
At least she's distracted at least she’s alive, what a lucky bird.


  1. BRAVO MICHELLE! I am so impressed!

    Fantastic music and lyrics, as always!

  2. First off, way to go big sis! You are a superstar, and touched me deeply with your section. And to Jordan, what and amazing musical and lyrical achievement. This song is...well i have a new favorite. Keep up the works of genius, you are the man.