Silk Road – Part 4: On My Way To You
This is Part 4 of a series of blog articles on my new forthcoming CD, "SILK ROAD - Inspirational Journeys Across Planet Earth." SILK ROAD will be released early in December 2012. Just a few more weeks! Click to read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
“On My Way To You” is one of those classic songs in life. It’s universal and yet it’s so particular. I imagine that anyone who chances to hear the song will immediately connect to it with a story of their own. Certainly that's true for me.
It's the second song on my soon-to-be-released CD, SILK ROAD. Not only is it a classic song, but it's a classic love song. An internal journey, "On My Way To You" explores the emotional terrain of the heart.
The song was written by masters of the art of popular song. Composed by the wonderful French musician, Michel Legrand("Summer of 42", "The Windmills of Your Mind", "I Will Wait For You"), the lyrics were written by one of the most recorded lyric writing teams in pop music, Alan and Marilyn Bergman. ("I Believe In Love", "The Windmills of Your Mind", "The Way We Were") The most definitive recording of “On My Way To You” is by Barbara Streisand. The pedigree just doesn’t get much better than that.
My producer, Peter Link, suggested the song for the SILK ROAD CD, because, again, it’s just one of those songs in life. Wait till you hear Peter’s remarkable orchestration. It’s rich, lush, and… new. Peter created a sound experience with an intro that’s over a minute long: It’s as if you are being awakened from a deep sleep into conscious awareness. You’ll understand what I mean when you hear it! I first sang this song in my one-woman show during the early New York cabaret phase of my eclectic career journey. I loved this song then and I love it now.
Whenever I work on a song that I’ve performed before, I treat it like it’s brand new. I always have to rediscover it. That’s a hard and fast rule. So, for my recording, I had to find out what “On My Way To You” means to me at this point in my life, especially with Peter Link's orchestration and its palette of emotion and music.
Every song reveals itself to me - each time I work on it - and I bang on the door until the song lets me in.
This time, “On My Way to You” did let me in, and it opened itself to me in the most surprising way while I was on a three-week journey across the country. During the last week, I was visiting with my mother. It had been years since I was able to spend a whole week with Mom. I was able to stay longer this time, in part, because of the kindness of Grace, a friend of our family. She allowed me to stay in her home, which is close by to where my mother lives.
But when I arrived, Grace was out of the country. I had never met her, and I stayed in her house alone. Yet, she was there - her essence, her qualities, her things - all around me.
Grace’s husband, Frank, passed on several years ago, but he was there too. I could feel their love lingering in every corner.
In the mornings, I would get vocally warmed up and work on my music. One day, while rehearsing, I was thinking deeply about “On My Way To You,” -- how it related to me, how I felt about it, and why. I went through my own story. I asked my usual questions: Who am I in this song? Who am I talking to? How do I feel? What am I doing? Why am I doing it?
I was sitting in Grace’s study, using her “boom box” to work with my rehearsal CDs, remembering the way I had sung this song before …
And it hit me! I made a left turn, and I ventured down a new path with this song.
Instead of it being my story, this song would now be about Grace and Frank - an anthem to a couple that I had never met. This song became their story. It was about two people who found one another, each with entire lifetimes of experience before they ever met. Their home reflected that. And this song would express the love story of their lives.
I felt this! Every time I turned a corner, there they were: in the pictures, in the furniture, in the kitchen, - in every room - in the hallways, the lovely yard, and yes, the garage too! They had made this home together. You could feel the care that went into it, for each other.
Grace lives there now on her own. Though I am certain that she misses Frank, the overwhelming sense in that house is a quiet joy of the times they shared and the love that grew between them.
“On My Way To You” became "Grace’s Anthem." It’s my imaginings of what I believe Grace would say to Frank if she had the chance to see him again. Or … maybe she did get to say those things in her own way.
By rediscovering this song in Grace’s house, I realized that I had a fresh new approach to the singing of it. I had found a new road map to understanding the journey of my own emotions, my own heart.
Grace and Frank's story gave me a new view of the priceless love in my life. And not to take him for granted. Not even for one moment.
To that, I raise my glass in toast, and say, “To Grace and Frank, this song’s for you!”
Up next: Silk Road - Part 5: When He Walks With Me
On My Way To You
Music by Michel LeGrand Lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman
So often as I wait for sleep I find myself reciting The words I’ve said or should have said Like scenes that need rewriting
The smiles I never answered Doors perhaps I should have opened Songs forgotten in the morning
I relive the roles I’ve played The tears I may have squandered The many pipers I have paid Along the roads I’ve wandered
Yet all the time I knew it Love was somewhere out there waiting Though I may regret a kiss or two
If I had changed a single day What went amiss or went astray I may have never found my way to you
It happens so often as I wait for sleep…
And all the time I knew it Love was somewhere out there waiting Though I may regret a kiss or two
If I had changed a single day What went amiss or went astray I would not change a thing that happened On my way to you