Music is a basically selfish endeavor. It all starts with a musicians love of music, specifically making music. I've talked about the whole music=magic thing before. Having the ability to make a beautiful noise is a truly magical thing. And so we practice, and we practice. And we get together with our friends and just play. All so we can hear ourselves and enjoy the transcendental exeperience that comes from syncing up with other people on a basic pre-verbal level.
Sometimes we play for audiences. And we share the fruits of the years of practice and playing with them. But even though we play for them, we don't really play for them. Because we'd play even if no one ever heard us again, we'd still play. We play for us.
We record for us. We write for us.
I told you we were a selfish lot.
Once in while though, we get a chance to be of use our gift for service, rather than just selfishness. Which is what happened last week when I got a call from Carl Theil, wanting to know if I'd sing on a record he was making. I'll admit, I took the gig before I fully knew what the deal was. I mean, someone asks me to sing, I say yes. Because it gives me a chance to hear the sound of my own voice.
What can I say? I'm selfish.
It wasn't until a few phone calls later that I learned what I would be singing.
You see, Carl has teamed up with a children's book author names Trevor Romain. Trevor has been commissioned to write two books for the USO: one about how to deal with a parents deployment and one to about parents who come back from the war with injuries. For every book they do, they also have a theme song. The song they wanted me to sing was the theme song for the book about parents being deployed called "With You All the Way."
It's crazy to think we've been at war for eight years. Some of the soldiers have been deployed as many as five times. These deployments can last up to 15 months. 15 months without seeing your kids. 15 months without seeing your partner. 15 months without seeing your mom or dad.
I truly cannot imagine.
Especially now that I'm a parent.
I know everyone has their opinions about the wars. But I think we can all agree that trying to help the children of service women and men is a good thing.
The song is all about staying connected to each other throughout the abscence. When I was learning the song, I just kept thinking about what it could mean to a little boy or girl whose parent was away in a war zone. I know when I was a kid I latched onto songs, singing them so many times that I still remember them on a cellular level. I believed in these songs. I created elaborate dance routines. And it was through these songs that I explored a lot of early emotion.
And I realized that this song could potentially give kids the same experience. The song could be of service to other people. To other children.
So thanks to Carl and Trevor. Many, many thanks. For giving me the chance to get outside of myself.
And I'll let y'all know when you can hear the song.