365 Days of Music: Day Forty

On nights when sleep won’t come, music soothes.  It heals.  It baptizes the spirit, if one allows it to roll over in waves, eyes closed, breath baited, the notes caressing fevered flesh.

I struggle both to sleep and to remain awake.  Sleep is at once a reprieve from life’s bad days and time slipping through the fingers.  Sleep no longer brings ridiculous dreams to share, nor does it bring nightmares that send me gasping for air, sheets tangled about my frame like kelp.

This song is one of the most beautiful songs in Andrew McMahon’s repertoire, and the backstory to it exemplifies his devotion to music.  On the last night in his home, seated in front of the piano upon which he composed albums and toured the last tour with Something Corporate, he decided to compose one last song before upgrading to a larger piano, a farewell to a friend.  The lyrics speak to the instrument as if it were human, and move beyond a simple tribute to 88 keys.  It speaks to the fractured, to the lonely in need of comfort.  Andrew understands this inherent power of music to soothe so well, and offers up a lullaby that can bring me back to earth in four minutes and thirty-five seconds, if only for a while.  For those moments, I breathe easy, supported by melody and verse.

“My friend calls me up, with her heart heavy still
And she says, ‘Andy, the doctors prescribe me the pills.
I know I’m not crazy; I just lost my will
So why am I, why am I taking them still?’
I need something to believe in, a breath from the breathing
So write it down, I don’t think that I’ll close my eyes
‘Cause lately I’m not dreaming, so what’s the point in sleeping?”

Day Forty:  Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby) – Jack’s Mannequin

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