Dear Friends, Fans & Family...
Happy First of March! February is a blessedly short month even with that extra day of Leap Year. Seems like we just got back from the Positive Music Festival in Tampa where two of our songs won awards. You can listen here to JD and co-writer Robert Anderson’s very cool song “The Day After the End of the World,” which won the category called Music That Matters. And our song “Immortal,” (which we co-wrote with our dear friend Marcy Baruch) took first place in the Social Justice category.
We’ve been part of this festival for 10 years now. The way the Pozzy awards are organized is that there are 6 categories, with 3 songs nominated in each one. There's a big concert on the Sunday night of the 5-day event where each of those nominated plays in front of the live audience, and then the results are announced for each group of 3.
"Immortal" was in the same group as an incredibly powerful spoken word piece written and performed by two very talented young actors from Atlanta, who call themselves the "Twin Soul Poets.” Ingrid is a gorgeous black woman, Hamilton a handsome white southern gentleman, both probably in their late ‘20’s. Their piece was about the mixed race couple from Virginia in the 1960’s whose trial finally overturned the long-standing law prohibiting whites from marrying anyone of a different race, most notably African Americans. It was a jaw-dropping performance, and the moment they finished, the audience exploded into cheers and applause, giving them a 3-minute standing ovation. It was thrilling.
In the midst of it, I leaned over to JD and whispered, "If by any slight chance we win this category, we should pass our award along to these guys, because they obviously deserve it, right?" He agreed without hesitation.
So......when the results were announced a few minutes later, it turned out that we really did win first place. And oddly enough, it seemed like a teeny bit of a let-down to us. Because even though we absolutely LOVE our song, (and so did the judges)…. the "Twin Soul Poets" clearly deserved to win too. Here’s one of their previous performances on Youtube.
So we checked in with Marcy, our other co-writer, and when we went up on stage to accept our award, we thanked everyone profusely, and then said, "And now we are going to do something unprecedented. We are going to give this award to the Twin Soul Poets." And the audience totally went crazy. It was fabulous!
But even though this is a great true story, it wasn’t until the day after the awards that the best part hit us over the head like a really great punch line: The lyrics to our song "Immortal" are saying exactly what we did in transferring the honors to the Twin Soul Poets. (Click here to read lyrics in their entirety.)
The chorus says, “And now I finally get it….I don’t need the credit ‘cause a light heart is worth its weight in gold….I’m gonna give it all away before I go.” And the bridge goes, “I can’t change the world by trying to hold on. A gift that’s freely given lives on and on…..”
So, there it is, like, how obvious can you get? But we weren’t aware of the connection at the time. We just reacted because it was obviously the right thing to do.
Maybe it’s like that for all of us. When you write or say something that comes from deep in your heart, something you really believe in, you can't just trot off as if you’re not also going to live it out in reality. It gets installed in your cellular structure somehow. It becomes part of who you are, and what you do in the world, even if you don’t realize it on a conscious level. Which is sort of a big relief.
So it’s probably a smart idea to say and write good stuff, especially when the 24-hour news cycles are so invested in the opposite approach. The chorus of “Immortal” begins like this, “And so we find our center, and we get a little bit better, and we learn to trust our heart & soul….” We like that headline better. Thanks for listening……
Love from Jan & JD
Click here for details of these and all coming events
• March 27
Music & Message at Sierra Center for Spiritual Living
Grass Valley, CA
• April 1
Concert at Unity at the Lake
South Lake Tahoe, CA
• April 3
Music & Message at Spiritual Life Center
• April 24
Music & Message at Unity of Overland Park
Overland Park, MO
• May 1
Music & Message at Unity of Columbia
Singing workshop the day before