Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coming to Terms and Getting It Out

I mentioned in my last blog that I don't usually write songs based in fact, but there are times when I let my experiences come out in song.  I am trying more and more to express myself in that way, but I find that most of the time I just start writing the lyrics that come to my head at the time instead of trying to write about something I have experienced.  Anyway, when my grandfather died in 1995 I wrote a song about it.  It was really the first time I wrote a song about something that happened in my life.  Two years later I lost my brother in a car accident.  I had spent nearly every day of his life sharing the same room, and suddenly that changed.  It took a long time to really come to terms with his death and I kept it bottled up inside for a long time. 

As the years passed, I was able to be more open about it; thanks mostly to my wife spending many nights helping me talk through it and open up about it.  As I started this journey to rediscover my music and my creativity, I realized it was time to put my feelings down in some way.  I was married now and had two kids and I always wonder what it would be like if they had Mark in their lives.  It hurts to know that he will never be able to meet them, play with them and watch them grow. 

So in November of 2009 I began the journey of putting together a song.  At the start I didn't set out to make this song about my brother, but as I put the music together and laid it down on the 8-track the feeling and mood was there.  I unfortunately then got struck with a month long battle with colds, flu and the like and had to put the project on hold.  Thankfully, I had already recorded all the music and just needed to sit down and work out the lyrics. 

As January came and my health returned, I took a couple of days off of work and sat downstairs in my office/studio to complete my latest project.  I let the music ring in my ears two times and then put pen to paper and began writing.  I knew before putting one lyric down that the song would be called Brother and I went about writing the chorus first.  After that was done, I sat back and let the memories flood in. 

The first verse refers to an old wooden rocking chair that we had at the house growing up and as I sat in my leather computer chair I drifted back to that rocking chair and our childhood.  At the old house on first street, we used to chase butterflies with nets made of pantyhose and hangers.  We would catch the butterflies and keep them in the mason jars as pets.  We did the same thing with caterpillars and also would catch garter snakes and frogs.  It was your typical kid stuff.  I remember that Mark had one snake that we all swore had blue eyes.  It was a mean snake too as it would his and lunge at us from the cooler we kept it in.  These are the memories that are focused on in verse one, and they are great memories. 

Verse two focuses on the here and now.  Thirteen years have passed since Mark left this world and I still can't wrap my head around that fact.  It really only seems like yesterday that I got the phone call that he had died.  A lot has happened in those thirteen years, so verse two focused on that element.  My two boys are the light of my life, and I just wish they would have been able to meet their uncle.  He would have loved playing with them and they would have adored him much like they adore their Aunt Jamie. 

My mom always tells me how at unexpected times something will happen that tells her Mark is watching and communicating.  She will be thinking of him and his name will show up on the radio screen.  Things like that.  so the final line "I know that your watching them, keeping them safe from harm" is a reference to that. 

The song is a very emotional song, but a song I am very proud to have written and placed on record.  I think it shows that I can write about my experiences more often and it will work out fine.  So here is the song Brother, I hope you enjoy listening to it. 

Song: Brother
Words and Music: Brian Bartholow
Album: Reflections On Life
Year: 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment