Heavy Falls The Night: Liner Notes

What Else

When someone I love confides that they would rather just end it all, the pain is immense; for them, for their darkness, and my inability to do anything to change it.

The Taking

It may well be yet another subtle sign of aging, but when my mother hit the pavement at the age of 62 to seek employment for the first time in 37 years, I suddenly wondered:  who are these dames of the past who made it so easy for a woman like myself? What are their stories?  Will my (hypothetical) daughter know how closely in the recent past these battles were won? I suppose it’s up to me to see to it that she does.

Heavy Falls the Night

To disclosure – the kind that happens before the sun’s head comes peeking through – in spite of all that is not shared.

One More Day

It was a darker night than usual, and I was afraid of everything. This is the invocation, the antidote to despair.

Seven Bucks

Seven dollars – the price of a bed at a Toronto men’s shelter.  This was inspired by the NFB documentary film “Salvation”, chronicling the Salvation Army’s front-line work on the streets of downtown Toronto. One of the interviewees, who happens to live on the street, getting by selling Outreach papers, raised a point I’ve heard before:  50% of people are just one or two paychecks away from financial ruin.

It’s Coming

To my musical inspiration, Clifford Brown – for channeling the hope, the clarity and the love. And for your endless reverence for life.


The give and take of love is never clear; we do as best we can.

A Song for Dinah Washington

She tried everything to counter her own darkness; it had the upper hand in her life, and eventually did her in, though it never could touch her music. I came to know James Strecker 3 years ago, through his achingly beautiful collection, Black.  This poem sang itself to me, and he granted me the honour of pinning a melody to it.


Another one of James’ poems.  Upon reading it, I couldn’t not write to it. This has become my ode to a life of love;  thanks for your inspiration and craft, J.S.

On the Insufficiency of Words

The road can be a long and lonely place, with the memory of home growing dimmer with time.  Phone conversations and emails from my love could never substitute those smallest of pleasures – smell, warmth, a look, and all the time in the world to speak, or remain silent.

Danny’s Song

In our household growing up, only one name from the secular music world slipped through the cracks and made its way in:  Anne Murray. One of my fondest early childhood memories includes a family road trip, a sun setting over the Trans-Canada, and this song as the soundtrack.