|Posted on 6 August, 2014 at 0:45|
Mandy and Jaimie sat down to have a conversation about “Right Here”, a song from Sweet Saturday’s new album “Joyful”.
Jaimie: Mandy, to get started; tell me about what this song is about.
Mandy: Well, this song is about the challenge of communicating with people who can’t communicate with you in traditional ways. I know a lot of people who struggle with sensory or social communication challenges, and this song is a way to tell that we love them, that they are not alone, and that they have lstove and support even when they don’t realize it. My son Jude has had some developmental delays over his life, and his typical behaviours are so repetitive and sometimes alarming that it seems like you can’t reach him. This song is my way of telling him that I’m always there for him.
Jaimie: It was really great for me to hear you talking about communication from a parent’s perspective! As you know, I’m a speech-language pathologist, so I deal with communication day in and day out, but there is something so powerful about hearing about Jude’s struggles from a parent’s perspective. For example, I work with a lot of kids who cannot communicate, or who are very frustrated by their struggle to get their messages across to others. Because I work in schools, I see teachers and staff who care deeply about their students, but nothing can match a parent’s understanding and love for his or her own child. You talk about seeing the person Jude truly is despite his difficulties, and desiring to see that person “break through.” This is a viewpoint that people who aren’t the parents of the child may have a hard time adopting, because we often see only what is on the surface. It is so heartbreaking to see your child struggling, but you express so much hope for who he will become! How did you start to write this song?
Mandy: The first ideas about this song were specific lines in this song. For example, in the chorus there’s a line that says, “When the way the world spins causes you to tremble.” It’s a reference to being overwhelmed by life.
Jaimie: When I heard your first version of the song, that line definitely stood out! I know there are a few more powerful lines, like where you said, “I see the way you dance when the world’s too close.” What does that mean?
Mandy: Some of the repetitive behaviours that I talked about before are walking on tiptoes, walking on heels, and spinning for extended periods of time. We call this Jude’s ‘dance’, and when he’s overwhelmed, or when “the world’s too close”, this is what his does.
Mandy: There is something really wonderful about collaborating with musicians you respect, to create a song. When I brought this song to you and Karen, and then to Darius, it felt like a safe place. What was it like for you to collaborate on this?
Jaimie: Haha, well, I’m always amazed that you can write something so personal and then trust us to work on it with you! It was a blast to work with Darius as well, because he has so many amazing ideas for music and lyrics! He was coming up with lyric ideas faster than we could keep up! You were so open to the ideas that we had for lyrics, or harmonies.
Mandy: It’s great to work with someone who has so much experience in the music industry (Darius), and the thing I appreciate the most is that when you leave you feel like every idea you had was a good idea, even if you didn’t end up using it.
Once you write a song and begin performing it, it’s not really your own song anymore. Everybody takes a piece of it and makes it their own, whether they listen to it and love it, or whether they perform it with you as well, or whether they do a cover of it. You can’t hold onto a song too closely if you want people to feel it as deeply as you do.
Jaimie: That’s one thing I really feel about this song – you’ve poured so much emotion into it from your personal experience, but I believe that anyone who has a child can relate to the idea that their child is more precious than any other treasure! It’s so beautiful. What do you hope that people will take away from this song?
Mandy: Children and adults can both struggle with effective communication, and often with coping strategies. The worst thing a person can feel is that they are alone. I hope if nothing else, people realize that it’s okay to lean on other people. You don’t have to struggle alone. It’s okay to be supported, and most importantly, there are people that love you and want to help you.
And to the people who are supporting others, I know you are exhausted. So am I! Fight the good fight. You are not alone either, and all the work that you do is meaningful and important. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Your loved ones need you to be as well as you can be.
If you connect with this song, please share your stories with us. Every time we hear about how this song has touched someone, it encourages us and makes it even more meaningful.
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