Tagged with: Amsterdam | Day 4 | London | song story | tour
In the liner notes for my EP “Loved” I wrote of the song “Day 4”:
A thank you note to a group of travellers for the three days (and nights…) we spent together in Amsterdam. So much was discovered in the intimacy of strangers, in the stories shared in the after-hours of a hostel bar, it changed my life forever. On day four, I became a singer.
The whole story is a long one, one I’ve loved to tell, one I used to tell quite often, but it’s been more than 10 years since my first trip to Europe, since those few days that changed me so.
I had only been taking guitar lessons for a few months and had written one tiny song on the guitar. In those after-hours, as the guitar was passed around the room, I took the chance to play my song for those gathered there. It was the first time I’d played a song of my own for an audience – an act I wasn’t sure that I would ever want to perform.
They listened, the room was hushed, and something HAPPENED.
There’s always that moment of connection in a performance, you never know exactly when it will occur but everyone in the room feels it when it does, and it HAPPENED, in that small short song in the back of The Last Waterhole hostel, in that instant. I knew then what I wanted to do. Of course little to nothing did I know of what an actual career as a musician would mean, but I knew making that kind of connection would be the sole driving force of my choices in the years to come.
It was thrilling; it was like falling in love. And every minute of it, leading up to it, was tied to the city.
I learned a lot in those three days, it set the tone for the rest of my trip and most of the traveling I’ve done since, and on day four, while sitting on the platform at Centraal Station for three hours because I missed my train to Munich, I wrote the first song that really felt like it was worth something. I play that song still, and it will always, I’m sure, be dear to me.
I hadn’t been back to Amsterdam since, until today. I was giddy to return, excited to be reminded and to remember, worried the city and I would look at each other and not feel what we felt when we met.
I wondered if you could fall out of love with a place… you probably can, but I haven’t with this one. Our three day fling of the past was rekindled with only a 5 hour layover, where I wandered until the streets became quiet and slow, I sat, listened, watched and remembered what light was turned on in me there, noticed that it still glows.
There’s a verse that got cut when we recorded “Day 4” in the interest of feel and form. I hadn’t thought of it in a long time, but in the afternoon sun today recalled:
This bench told me her secrets as she held me in the sun
We guessed at people passing us, at what they’d done
From the churches and the bicycles the bells are ringing
The rain provides a steady beat and we keep on singing
Now I’m waiting to board a plane to London, another city of my heart, another formative place of my past, and I sing sing sing.