Twenty-seventh song: Birthday

Today I turned 33 years old. Three years ago today I woke up and wrote down the beginnings of this song. As you may notice from the lyrical content, it's a song written from a shifting perspective. When I was writing it, I was not only thinking of myself but of other people in my life . I was attempting to tell a few stories in one song that centred around the theme of having a birthday.

The first part of the song begins with me on my 30th birthday, as I get ready for the day and examine my face in the mirror and contemplate all the years that have gone by in a flash.

There is a funny story about me on my 30th that i have incorporated into the song. It's a moment I will never forget. I was surprised by my friends and family down at Fat Tuesdays where I play. They brought a cake out , my mom was video taping while everyone sang happy birthday to me. With all that attention on me I felt I had to do something crazy so i leaned over the cake to lick a piece of icing off the top. What happen next also went by in a flash because the next thing I knew ... my head was on fire! I guess when I leaned down to lick the icing my hair caught the 3 of the 30 candle. Luckily my wife put out the flames and although it smelled like burnt hair it turned out to be an unforgettable memory of a milestone birthday.

Then it shifts to an older person's birthday. I was thinking about my grandmother who lived in a nursing home for a long time. I remember that on one of her birthdays near the end of her life, how we would gather round and celebrate with her. She would smile and really brighten up with all the company but often she wasn't sure who everybody was.

The third perspective shifts to a party that I was at for my great aunt Bertha. Bertha was diagnosed with cancer and this party was held at her family homestead. It would be the last time that she would set foot in that house. I remember the party being in full swing and through the crowd of guests I saw Bertha talking it all in with a look that seemed to be a mixture of pride and sadness. She passed away at her home in Finch right at midnight on her birthday.

Finally the lyrics rest on the perspective of someone who is reminded of a loved one that has passed on what would have been their birthday and how they miss that person but try to keep them alive through memory. I guess I was thinking of Bertha's husband, my great Uncle Tom when I was writing this.

As you can see, the ingredients of this song come from a wide range of not only perspectives but emotions as well. That's life for me though, funny and sad all at the same time. It's good to make it round the calendar for another year and fill the days with whatever comes next.