Meyer & McGuire
Song of the Month #4 - “Musician’s Prayer”
(Track #10 on the Caught in the Middle CD)
Lyrics: If your web browser does not support the Flash Player* included with the Lyrics, or you are uncomfortable allowing/downloading the plug-in/add-on, you can still listen to this song while you read. Just go to our Downloads Page and click on the link, “Buy Caught in the Middle Songs from Napster”. Then, click on "Musician’ Prayer." You can listen to it for free (not available outside the USA).
*Not being a techie, I use the term “Flash Player” loosely.
If you decide to give this song a listen, think about your own passion while it is playing. The specific details focus on the life of a musician, but the theme is not exclusive to musicians. It is for anyone who pursues something with a passion. It is for those who choose to accept the highs and lows that come along with doing something you love. It is a song for coaches, teachers, athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, etc. It is a song for those who prefer winning and losing rather than doing nothing. It is a song for those who reestablish a daily commitment to their dream despite the outcome of the previous day’s events.
I developed my passion for music back in 1970. Back then, I spent a lot of time on my own, and the music was excellent therapy for me. Much to my surprise, the few friends and acquaintances I met at Colgate University thought I wasn’t too bad, and they encouraged me to stick with it. The young woman who ran the coffee house on campus asked me to do a gig for her, and after I did the gig, I was addicted. The reason I say I was addicted is because life did not feel right when I tried to stop playing. I attempted to quit music because along with the great joy it brought, it also brought me much pain. For example, while I received an incredible high from my first performance at Colgate in 1973, two years later I was at one of my lowest points because I walked away from a lover who did not want me to play. Since that time, the highs and lows of music have penetrated my life every day. Now, however, I no longer ask myself, “Why are you doing this?” I know the answer now. I am addicted. I have to.
Now it is 2007, and the highs and lows that come with music still exist. The biggest high for me is being on stage with Siobhan. We have had many great nights sharing our music with friends and strangers. The incredible highs we have felt from some of these gigs are simply indescribable. With that said, we have also felt some unbelievable lows. We have played many of our last sets to empty houses. The birth of “Musician’s Prayer” occurred on one of these nights.
Not far from where we live is a little place called Captain Yogi’s. It is on the east side of Canandaigua Lake, and it really used to hop in the summer. Up until a few years ago, Siobhan and I worked for Captain Yogi and his lovely wife Lois, but unfortunately, they could no longer afford to have music. They, like so many other mom and pop operations, are being nosed out by the power of the chain restaurants.
Anyway, in addition to working for Cap and Lois during the hopping times in the summer, we would also do some gigs during the slow season in the winter. On one of these wintry nights when we were playing in their little Red Room, it was cold, snowy, and windy. A few people suffering from cabin fever struggled with nature and came for dinner, but they did not stay long because the storm was getting worse by the minute. Needless to say, our last set consisted of us and the help. After playing “Irene Good Night,” a tribute to Lois’ deceased mother, we began to pack up our guitars. As we worked, the chill in the air and the sound of the wind created an incredible sense of emptiness in me. I’d been in this place before with music, and I knew I’d be here again; however, I also knew that between these two points, music would bring me that high again. It was in this moment that the lyrics to the chorus of “Musician’s Prayer” came to me.
“The music life's not easy
'Cause those lows are hard to bear
But the highs, they keep us goin'
And our own musician's prayer”
Once the chorus came to me, the verses fell into place quite naturally. I created scenes and feelings that are common to the life of a musician. The anxiety in anticipating what the night will bring, the elation when it works, and the depression when it fails are the emotions that appear in the verses of the song. If you are a person who has chosen to be in the game, you feel these emotions every day, and you will connect with this song.
I dedicated this song to John and Joe Dady. Not only are these guys a class act when it comes to musicianship, but they are the epitome of class in all aspects of their lives. Regardless of whatever highs and lows come their way, they rededicate themselves each day to improving their musical craft as well as their lives. The integrity they bring to music is refreshing because it is simply just getting harder and harder to find these days.
I recorded this song in 1998 at The Garage, a little studio in Rochester, New York. The Garage, as I have told you before, is owned and operated by John and Joe Dady, two quintessential musicians. When you record with them, you can always count on great coffee, good stories, and an aching stomach from laughing.
Since “Musician’s Prayer” is a prayer, the delivery is somewhat hymn-like. With a mandolin, keyboard, and violin John and Joe enhance my voice and acoustic guitar with a tender sensitivity. Mike Smythe, a friend of John and Joe’s, adds the sweet sound of a harmonica when the song concludes with an instrumental verse of “Amazing Grace.” I like it, and I hope you do too.
I highly recommend John and Joe if you are interested in recording. Also, The Dady Brothers, John and Joe’s group, have many recordings of their own, and they tour the United States and Ireland. Check them out on the web.
Well, there you have it. I’ll have another song of the month for you next month. If you have any comments or suggestions, please pass them on to me. This is a work in progress, and I am always looking for new ways to improve it.
E-mail us at McRiley@Frontiernet.net