Occasionally. Especially if it’s occasioned by an event of personal importance. And especially if it is set to music by my singer-songwriter-performer-master of guitar, mandolin, ukulele, harmonica, singing-strumming brother, Phil Casey. Also of Scuppernongaree fame.
In 2014, our father’s life was coming to a close. On his last cogent weekend, my daughter was flying to Florida for a last goodbye when she got another long-awaited phone call. She had an invitation to meet with a birth mother to discuss adoption. What to do? No contest. My daughter cancelled her flight to visit her grandfather and met with the birth mother. As my father said, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. "
A time of great intensity, when the boundaries of the beyond seemed to lift. Tears and joy, no longer at odds. I wrote what I hoped would be a song to celebrate the upcoming birth of our new granddaughter, and my brother obliged by putting to music and performing what I think is one of the most beautiful songs ever written! An act of generosity for which I am profoundly grateful.
“Sweet Baby Grand” became available as an MP3 download on Amazon today, our father’s birthday, link here and lyrics below. Another occasion, to note! It is part of his new album, The Tidewater Fishing Report, self-produced and performed, conceived and created. Many of the songs are rooted in local Virginia history where he and his family now live. Fun, fun, fun. I also wrote the lyrics, with some tweaking by Phil, for “Touch Dirt,” but at least, if you’re reading this, sample “Sweet Baby Grand.”
SWEET BABY GRAND
By the grace, grace, grace of God
Our family’s turnin’ round and right
Oh, Lord, she’s birthin’ in the cool twilight
And more than her delivery is surely at hand
Our baby, sweet baby grand (repeat at end)
On Sunday, we’re soaring ever so high
On Monday, we flow to th’ sound of her cry
On Tuesday, her smile’s midsummer’s night
Come Wednesday, no doubt, our princess delight
By Thursday, high noon on mountain tops
We watch when she dances, spins, and then stops
Whoever saw coming, this amazin’ surprise
A balm for our hearts, a feast for our eyes.
Come Friday, we’re worried, a shadow falls
Out and about, will she come when we call?
There’s valleys and chasms and trouble out there.
Be safe, cherished girl-child, always our prayer.
On Saturday, what if she seems all grown,
We belong to each other, perm(a)nent loan.
Sweet baby’s remakin’ our world each day.
Our sunshine and starlight, come what may
Maryanne Hannan c 2014