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A Stay At Home Dad's Lyrics - Balance Between Job and Parenting

February 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 142

Being a singer/songwriter/stay-at-home dad has its advantages and its disadvantages. One of the advantages? A songwriter can be anywhere, any time and if properly prepared work can be accomplished. All it takes is a micro-recorder (a pocket-sized model retailing at around $30) and an open and relaxed mind. The disadvantage? The songwriter/dad is responsible for the well-being of one (or more) children. So when that elusive lyric or melody finally presents itself and is ready to be "captured", the songwriter must also be sure their child is not suspended on the monkey bars (with no "spotter") at the very same second. What is a writer to do when they find themselves in an almost-impossible-to-write situation? Sometimes they write anyway.

A few years ago I was home with my two sons who were about six and nine years old. I had been a stay at home dad/songwriter/performer for about nine years. Before kids songwriting was a "luxury" of sorts. There was a lot of down-time. The house was strategically set should a melody or lyric make a "visitation". The home studio was always in "ready" mode. No distractions. Nothing but time, empty space and possibilities. But of course having two young sons who depend on you as a care-giver, playmate, reader, chauffeur, first aid attendant (specializing in skinned knees,) educator etc. made it a bit difficult. On this particular day the deck was REALLY stacked: My sons had their friend over. So now, it was three kids against one songwriter.

Fortunately our studio has a door. Since the two oldest (my son and his friend) were nine years old I was (relatively) comfortable with the idea they could handle the youngest and immediately notify me if something went awry. (Of course this begs the question: what could possibly go wrong when you leave two nine year olds in charge of a six year old?) The studio was set. Door ajar just enough to hear "outside noise" (otherwise known as "crying") in the event a major catastrophe took place in the playroom located above the studio. It was a quiet autumn day. The kind where you could actually feel (and see) summer surrendering to fall with winter close behind.

I sat at the piano. My sons and their playmate were safe upstairs in the playroom. The studio was quiet and its 4 windows and French door presented an almost-panoramic view of the Berkshire's hills. A writer's paradise of sorts. That is, until the boys' began their game of "hide and seek."

As I sat at the piano the house shook. The boys apparently decided the game should expand it's boundaries to the entire second floor and eventually include the first floor. Suddenly the house went from quiet to...well...not-so-quiet. (For the record, I actually wondered if somehow the boys had thrown a party without my knowledge as the sound of three became the sound of THIRTY-three.)

It became clear the "setting" necessary to create a new song (a.k.a. "peace and quiet") had just vanished only to be replaced by its polar-opposite. I decided to forego the idea of writing and instead played simple chords while looking out the window. I was thinking about the irony. How the disrupting "noise" would some day be replaced by complete silence. Our sons would grow up and go their own way leaving me to look back and miss the very sound now hampering my songwriting. As I watched the leaves being blown and felt the impending cold weather I suddenly sang the words:

"You can hear 'em playing in the room beside this one. I'm trying to get something written but can't begin to think. The little voices jumpin', not a worry in the world. Wrestling, running, laughin' playing hide and seek..."

From there "Another Year" was born. The whole scenario became a song. Working through the "noise" and reflecting on the passage of time, our sons becoming old enough to drive, life going too quickly...all of it. It poured out faster than I could write. One of the rare times a writer gets to write while the "subject" is unfolding in front of them. Not to mention the irony of how the session began in frustration (caused by "noise") and ended in song.

"Another Year" will always hold a special place and serve as a reminder of what a writer does when they can't write: They write anyway.

Kenn Morr is an internationally acclaimed Singer/Songwriter, Producer and Author with six albums to his credit. Originally from Long Island, NY, Kenn now lives in New England's Berkshire Mountains with his wife and two young sons. The subject of the article "Another Year" can be found on Kenn's Higher Ground CD

Source: EzineArticles
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