This One's for You, Sinatra
The second track on this soon to be re-released EP is titled "Weeping Willow". Unlike a lot of my songs, I remember exactly what I was doing the very moment I came up with this song and why. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 16 year old Leah sitting on the floor of my bedroom in the house I grew up in listening to my favorite Frank Sinatra Record, Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (don't judge me, I only had two of his records). A song called "Willow Weep for Me" came on and it mesmerized me by its intrinsic sadness. I do admit I can get pretty caught up in a whirl of moodiness and slurpy feelings due to the music I listen to. Now a days, I usually try to keep it positive, but right then was a different story. I admittedly delighted in the sadness that song brought me.
Willow weep for me
Willow weep for me
Bend your branches green along the
Stream that runs to sea
Listen to my plea
Hear me willow and weep
This song was not the only thing tenderly pulling me in toward a melancholy masterpiece. At the time, I was being immensely impacted by a friend who was struggling with severe depression. It was taking a tole on me. As I listened to a song that said,
Weeping willow tree
Weep in sympathy
Bend your branches down along
The ground and cover me
I couldn't help but wonder what makes the willow weep?. It's always weeping no matter what the surrounding conditions. I know Frank Sinatra's song was probably about a broken hearted lover. But the song I wrote, "Weeping Willow" is about depression in general. In the case of depression and suicide, I think we often ask the question, "Why?". Whether it is part of your story or someone close to you, we have probably all encountered this heart breaking reality that makes us so human. It is so frustrating and confusing to feel this way or watch someone go through this. Especially when people call it "being sad for no reason". So that leaves us to wonder and we can't help but ask "Why?". "Why them?" "Why me?" "Why now?" "Why doesn't it just go away?".
I do not have any of the answers to these questions. That is why this song may be considered a bit depressing. But I think that's okay. Because depression and suicide are really real, hard, sucky things to deal with. And that needs to be recognized. And no matter what the season of weather you're in: spring, summer, winter, fall... you may still be left weeping. But that is okay. You live by these streams. And maybe you find yourself watching others fall into these streams and then you realize it is making you sad, because these people are drowning themselves. And it's the water you're living right next to that is making you weep. Even if it is not outwardly affecting you, you are drinking in the water from your roots deep underground. You're not weeping for no reason and you're not weeping in vain. It's painful to watch and it's a painful reality to drink in.
That is my extended metaphor. Take is as you will.
The last thing I want to say is that if you are one who lives near those streams or you feel like you are drowning in them or coming close to, keep going. Let it be known that the scars make you stronger. Don't be afraid to fight. You are loved.