A song for Robert

My Silver Son is a song I wrote for my second son Declan, just before he turned two. I finally managed, a couple of months ago, to write one for my first son Robert.

First In My Eyes is a song about being a father, making the most of the time we have with our kids, and the hopes we have for them.

Audio only:

I finished writing it in time for Robert’s 5th birthday in October, but between a busy period at work and a troublesome appendix I didn’t manage to record it in time. (They finally took the aforementioned appendix out just last week.)

I spent an evening at Mathieu Siegrist’s K-yak Studio in Gland in late November. He did a really nice job on recording, arranging and mixing the song, with great ideas for the instrumental parts and harmonies. I’m hoping we’ll have a chance to work together more in future.

While I wrote this for Robert, its sentiments apply – of course – equally to Declan… they’ll both be first in my eyes, whatever paths they eventually choose to take. I think/hope the sentiments in this song will resonate with any parent. (And I’m not just saying that in case Declan is reading this text many years from now! Don’t forget, Declan, you got your song first!!)

You can download the song from Soundcloud here.

First In My Eyes

You fell off the swing that day; it seems just like yesterday,
I pushed you too hard, I rushed you too soon.
Now you like flying high, a big boy, a bigger smile,
Maybe someday you’ll fly to the moon.

I’ll keep holding your hand for as long as you want to hold mine,
I’ll be reading you stories as long as you think that’s alright.

I know in time you will live your own life,
And I hope you’ll be strong and be happy, be honest, be kind,
You’ll go your own way, and you’ll run your own race,
But wherever you finish you’ll always be first in my eyes.

I love singing songs with you, or playing a board game too,
We can hop on the bikes, go for a ride.
I think now I understand how the child makes the man,
From father to son and on down the line.

I’m teaching you things but I’m learning from you all the while,
So I’ll tie your laces and maybe one day you’ll tie mine.

I know in time you will live your own life,
And I hope you’ll be strong and be happy, be honest, be kind,
You’ll go your own way, and you’ll run your own race,
But wherever you finish you’ll always be first in my eyes.

I won’t forget the day we met, they put you in my arms, I tried not to break you;
I buttoned up your tiny vest, cradled you against my chest, we made you, we made you.

I know in time you will live your own life,
And I hope you’ll be strong and be happy, be honest, be kind,
You’ll go your own way, and you’ll run your own race,
But wherever you finish you’ll always be first in my eyes,
I don’t care where you finish you’ll always be first in my eyes.

Not having regrets

My very cool friend Chantal is taking some time out from being a doctor in Switzerland to do a bit of travelling. We’ve been able to follow her progress via the blog she posts to now and again. A recent post from New Zealand included a quote (“Wherever you go, there you are”) that reminded me of a couple of lines from a song that I wrote while we were living in Amsterdam. I thought she might appreciate the lyrics so I sent them to her – and she did! She asked me to send her a recording of the song and since one didn’t yet exist I sat down this evening with my trusty Zoom H4 to do a quick and dirty recording. Et voila!

 

[Edit 2016: actually the recording above is a later one I did in a studio in Lausanne…]

And the lyrics…

Have No Regrets

If I could do it all again I’d make the same mistakes my friends,
I’d follow all the bad advice, ’cause that’s what brought me here tonight.

I’d take a big sharp left down the rocky road to wrong
And realise experience is going for a song
I’d miss my step and I’d stumble and I’d trip
Then climb back on the pony once again to crack the whip.

Have no regrets, Have no illusions,
If what’s for granted’s kind of slanted then just slide away in doubt,
Have no regrets, not no amusement,
And eventually you’ll end up where you’re meant to be, oh yes.

If I could take it from the top, rewind the tape, restart the clock,
I’d say the same lines every time, ’cause they’re the lines that made her mine.

I’d make the same bad choices, upset the apple cart,
And fall in love with women who would only break my heart
I’d pick the same bad moment to say what’s on my mind
Accept the consequences, take the hit and do the time,

Have no regrets, Have no illusions,
If what’s for granted’s kind of slanted then just slide away in doubt,
Have no regrets, not no amusement,
And eventually you’ll end up where you’re meant to be, oh yes,
Have no illusions,
If what’s for granted’s kind of slanted then just slide away in doubt,
Have no regrets, not no amusement,

and eventually, take it from me, you’ll end up where you’re meant to be,
And that’s exactly here you see, ’cause no one’s ever been
Where they’re not meant to be,
Have no regrets.