We began writing this song on 17 September 2018, and it has become my all-time favorite of all the songs we have written. It could be because I have a very soft spot for pigeons (I had a rescued racing pigeon named Komo for a while before he was tragically killed by a friend’s dog). I think this song combines a melody and words that feel good to sing with a universal concept and metaphor for life that is one that expresses the importance of sharing stories in song for creating solidarity and sustainability among people around the world who may never meet but who can experience empathy and understanding for one another. It also speaks to the Buddhist and yogic philosophy (which I find deeply meaningful and poignant) that all we ever has is the present moment. I believe it is important to learn to be fully present and to fully embrace and share these moments.
This song is also an example of one that revealed itself in stages over time. The song began with the line Sarah wrote upon witnessing one of the pigeons at the center, which had a broken wing.
I am a bird with a broken wing
From there, we shared ideas and the chorus was born. The song was a chorus for a while until I played it for Savasana after teaching a yoga class. As I began playing the song, I realized it felt like there was something missing and added a stanza on the spot.
I woke up this morning, and I could not find my song
But somehow I found a way to carry on
Back at the center sometime later, Sarah and I revisited the song yet again and wrote two more stanzas. Each new verse built on the idea shared in the previous stanza. We began with the image of a being (it could be a person or a bird or another entity altogether) alone who cannot hear their song at all. Then, they seek support from another being, entreating them to share their song so they can sing together. The final verse is about history and the power to shape the future, which has become a common theme among the songs that we write with residents at the asylum center.
To read more about the writing of this song, visit Guiding Song: The Pigeon Song
This is a recording of the first version of the song from the Monday afternoon in September:
This is a video I made from the first recording of the song:
This is a short clip of Sarah writing words to the song as we continued to work on it: