Friday, November 30, 2007

I know it’s part of parental territory to talk incessantly about our children. Still, when your kid does something really neat you can’t help drawing the world's attention to it just a little. Several days ago, Daniel called to talk about a song he’d just written. Apparently, friends loved it, calling this one the hit song. Naturally, I congratulated him - all the while wondering how anything could rival another song he recorded earlier this year called “Gone by 2040”. Truly, the guy knows how to write a great tune.

So, a few days later Dan is in my dining room, my Taylor 6-string in his hands, and he begins to play: Strong driving chords, hands moving fluidly across the fret board, unleashing a cacophony of minor, major and suspended figures as sophisticated as anything I’ve heard in quite a while. Then he begins to sing. Now, Dan has always had a strong voice, cultivated over years of lessons by Colin Doroschuck of Men Without Hats fame and the Canadian College of Performing Arts. But there’s something different here: an excitement in his voice that I’d never really heard before. And I very quickly begin to understand why: this really is a great song. Of love. Of struggle. With trenchant lyrics and a galvanizing melody. For several minutes I sit at the dining room table absolutely rapt.

Daniel finishes and quietly sets the guitar down. I know he’s always a little anxious about how I’ll receive a new composition. But for once fatherhood has escaped me. I am now mere Gushing Fan, and only manage to get out five words: “That is one great song.” Several times I repeat this, because nothing else will come. Eventually I regain my composure and the young man seated at my dining room table understands that the one person in this world he sometimes has the hardest time getting through to actually gets it. And Daniel is glowing.

My parental prerogative has been fully exercised. You’ll get a chance to hear Daniel's song after it’s recorded and I post it. Meantime, here’s that other tune mentioned above: Enjoy!

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