So, I have this crazy project in process, and this is the beginning.
As I mentioned yesterday in teasing this, while in law school, at the age of 22 or 23, I wrote and recorded several songs. My performances are poor, but I have convinced three musicians so far to record some of them for me. Three of the recordings are in hand, and I present the first one to you today in this post: “Creation,” sung by the incomparable Jay Semko, lead singer of the Canadian band The Northern Pikes.
Before we get to my song, let me say a few words about Jay. The Northern Pikes has always been one of my very favorite bands. All of their albums are great, but “Secrets of The Alibi” and “Snow in June” in particular are absolute classics. To get a sense of how good the Pikes were, listen to one of their songs from the 1990s, with Semko on lead vocals:
Here’s another (more acoustically oriented) song where Semko shows off his vocal talents:
Jay recorded three of my songs; “Creation” is probably my favorite of the three. Jay tells me he recorded the songs for me “live off the floor” at the same studio (Randy Woods Studios) where he recorded his most recent album: Flora Vista (which I highly recommend, and which has one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard: Asleep in the Loving Arms of God). During the process, Jay was wonderful to deal with.
When Jay sent me the recordings last Wednesday, I listened to them in amazement. I can’t describe the feeling in words. It was absolutely surreal to hear one of my favorite rock performers of all time, singing a song I wrote. And then another! And another! I told him that the only thing that would make this more amazing is if I could travel back in time to play them for the 23-year-old version of myself. At the time I was writing these songs, in the early 1990s, I was listening to The Northern Pikes constantly, probably every day. If you had told me in those days that Jay Semko would one day sing a song (or three!) written by me, I think I would have had a heart attack.
The song I present to you today is actually a dialogue between a creator and his creation. It could be God creating Adam; or a parent creating a child; or an artist creating a work of art. There is the moment of creation, and the love and gratitude the creation feels towards its creator for giving it life. But one day, the creation will seek its freedom. The creator will resist letting go — but will eventually set his creation free, out of love. Finally, the creator will die — but will still achieve a certain immortality, as long as the creation remains alive.
I will publish the lyrics tomorrow — and if my courage holds up, I may publish my original recording (which has piano and harmonies, all done poorly on primitive equipment) on Wednesday . . . just for grins.
For now, though, sit back and enjoy the strange but hopefully pleasant experience of listening to a professional rock musician sing a song that I wrote over 20 years ago: