Speak To Me, Volume 5

Speak To Me, Volume 5 is here!  I had the privilege of playing with Shireen Amini and Jason Jackson at Harmony House in Sisters, OR.  I thought it would be fun to get them in on my shenanigans.  :)  Volume 5 is Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”.

The idea to sing this song came from Shireen, whom I had the good fortune of meeting at the Sisters Song Academy a few years ago.  Shireen told me one day that she had had a dream that we sang this song together and that she thought we should do it.  So i thought, why not??  We spent a good hour down by the lake that day singing our hearts out!

Both of us remembered the song from the power-ballad version done by Whitney Houston.  What a perfect vehicle this song was for her amazing pipes.  But when I learned back then that it was a Dolly Parton song, I went back and listened to Dolly’s version.  It is heart-breakingly sweet and and soft, and stop-you-in-your-tracks sad to hear her voice tremble when she whispers “I wish you joy and happiness”….

The most obvious lesson from this song is the power of simplicity.  Occasionally songwriters (myself included!) get carried away with trying to be clever or surprise our listeners’ ears.   Dolly reminds me here that sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is take a raw emotion and distill it down to its purest, clearest form.  There is no doubt from the first line of the song what she is feeling.

There is certainly a place for complexity in creativity, but sometimes simplicity is a gift you can give yourself and your song.   Thanks, Dolly for the reminder.