The songs I’ve offered up over the last few days shook me by the shoulders and handed me this piece as my last choice. I realized mid-week that the songs I’ve chosen, and the majority of songs throughout history either celebrate our connection with each other, long for that connection, or grieve over its loss. Sondheim’s words sum it all up for me and they do it in both a contemporary and a timeless way. The melody sounds simple, though of course it’s not, and it takes root in your teeth and bones.
I have one more thing to add as I finish my week where No Song Is Safe. I sang a concert with NYFOS years ago that focused on really new songs—some still wet with ink. It was challenging, stimulating, sometimes frustrating and ultimately it was an experience that helped form me as a craftsperson. I cherish every opportunity to breathe a little of myself into each song I sing as a result. Those precious few days that I got to spend with Steve Blier and John Musto at the piano were thoughtful, revelatory and encouraging. I came away with a clearer sense of myself as a story teller and I felt welcomed into a distinctly particular family in the world of song. Since then, that family has become the Royal Family. I’m thrilled to come back in a couple of weeks and share the stage with Steve again. There’s nothing quite like it. For a singer, it doesn’t get any better.