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  • Writer's pictureKristin Kowalski Ferragut

Liner Notes -- Eli & Vindicate Life with Bonus Reflections on Loss

Eli


V1:

Angst and doubt have become your brand / You ground your worry-stone to a grain of sand

Erode yourself, wringing your hands / Oh Eli


Bills eat your hours like famished lions / Snuff out your spark delaying desires

Hungry for sleep with blaring sirens / Oh Eli 


Oh Eli, lay your burdens down / Oh Eli, lay your burdens down


Holding joy in the face of hard is suspicious / Missing things on the floor are still precious

Tell me how a wounded heart increases / Oh Eli


There’s hope in the fact we’re still alive / And I wanna hit the causeway on that long drive

Flying there with you by my side / Oh Eli


Oh Eli, let’s go for a ride / Oh Eli, let’s go for a ride


Chorus:

If day-to-day’s gotta be a struggle / Let’s take on a fight for delights

Armored with hope step into battle / And stomp on them burdens in life

You’re more than a jumble of responsibilities / And I’ll give my sway to see you happy

Least for awhile

          

Then I’ll hold you / Yes I’ll hold you / let me see you smile

Oh-oh, Baby I’ll hold you / Wanna hold you / Oh Eli, lemme see you smile


V2:

Baby, blast your music brazenly loud / Strut around crowing and roar out some howls

Forget tomorrow and all our troubles for now


There’s a new moon so let’s go outside / Where the brightest light will be from your eyes

As we recall brilliant ways to waste time / Oh Eli


Oh Eli, it’s yours and mine / Oh Eli, all yours and mine


Chorus:

If day-to-day’s gotta be a struggle / Let’s take on a fight for delights

Armored with hope step into battle / And stomp on them burdens in life

You’re more than a jumble of responsibilities / And I’ll give my sway to see you happy

 Least for awhile


Then I’ll hold you / Yes I’ll hold you / Oh Eli, as you put on a shine

Oh-oh, yes I’ll hold you / Wanna hold you / Oh Eli, wanna see you shine

Oh oh wo oh oh                                             Oh Eli                           shine




Vindicate Life


V1    

He sang to the ocean night

Danced like a wind-up toy and belted it out until the sun


My friend he knew how to laugh

Even at my expense his humor was expansive now it’s quiet


Chorus:

Crumbled in his life review Then shored up enough pluck to vindicate two

Rage bold headlong echo-ing his voice in this world, fear aside                

Don’t have much to loose ke…ep in mind, tip scales of pride

either way we’re all gonna die

better make the most of this life


V2

all done, moved to  the light

Performance art left behind With my duet


A hole now in the world   We melt


Chorus:

Crumbled in his life review Then shored up pluck enough to vindicate two

Rage bold headlong echo-ing his voice in this world, fear aside            

Don’t have much to loose ke…ep in mind, tip scales of pride

Gotta make the most of this life

                                         finite life


V2:

Worries  Sink us deep

What matters little weighs lot this side of final sleep Despite ourselves


No one  gets it right

No one   gets it right  Though we try oh we try


Crumbled in his life review Then shored up pluck enough to vindicate two

Rage bold headlong echo-ing his voice in this world, fear aside                

Don’t have much to loose ke…ep in mind, tip scales of pride …







I wrote Eli a bit over a year ago and recorded it earlier this month. It was my response to someone challenging me to write a happy song.


I drafted Vindicate Life more recently and it may undergo more edits. It's been through a lot. But I recorded it today, after leaving the Celebration of Life event for Linda Durban. I couldn't stay. But still wanted ceremony. So... music.


My friend, Kevin, passed in 2006. I know that's long ago now, but there's no date stamp on mourning. There was no service. I planned to visit him in New Orleans for Spring Break, with my 3-year-old Girl, who he hadn't met, in 3 days when I got the word that he died. So I took my Girl to Luray Caverns instead. Maybe she had an alright time, but I get claustrophobic and was pretty sad, but was with the spriteliest 3-year-old I can even imagine, so it was a mixed bag.


When Reuben Jackson hosted a workshop at MC through It Takes a Community in 2019, I took the opportunity to at last start writing about Kevin. There's a line from a Dan Bern song, "New love brings back all the old loves / that you've ever had." ("Chelsea Hotel, 1998). It feels a little like that to me with mourning these days. Like some of the lyrics from "Vindicate Life" (for Kevin) could fit for Linda. I've played it a few times with changing pronouns, which is kind of funny. I can imagine her push back on that one; feels like an inside joke. And I'd often send early draft recordings to Reuben, who passed away last week, so I think of him with the recording.


I'm lucky to have loved so many wonderful souls as to feel heartbroken at losing them. They each make me want to live more boldly, to do all the things. Thus, the song.



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