Stories Behind The Songs
I'm Just a Little Kid
I witnessed a child being abused while driving in a car on Charlton Road in lower Saratoga County, NY. Why do I tell you where? I do that because I want the child who was in that car to know that someone witnessed that, and decided to take the only action I could. I wrote about you. And perhaps, then, I wrote about all who experience abuse and neglect every day.
This song is now used in schools, prisons, communities, on the radio, and with organizations to help. Why a song? Music enters the brain differently than the spoken word. Music calls for the listener to pause, listen, and wait with a response. And in the beautiful voice of a young 10 year old, the song speaks from the heart, and with hope.
"So, love me, don't hit me.
Talk to me, I'll listen,
All I ask is,
Can we find another way?
We"ll be glad we did.
Love me, love me,
I'm just your little kid."
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The Answer Lies in You and in Me
In 1986, about the time "We are the World" was recorded, a sixth grader came up to me and asked,"Where's the song for us kids to sing?" We don't need to be old like "you" in order to make a difference. The challenge was answered in this song. After a series of coincidences, "The Answer Lies in You and in Me" was chosen to be the U.S. Committee for UNICEF's 40th anniversary theme song, and was performed for the International UNICEF Board at the United Nations. Inspired by children, the song and story continues to inspire people of all ages.
Lovers and Givers
With lyrics by Tom Pettipiece, this song speaks of choices we make. Once again, the song inspires and encourages, and it gives us hope and an action to take.
Hands of Time
How often do we look at our hands, and in an instant, make the observation they remind us of our mother or father? This song is a reflection of those thoughts, and connects us to that which is personal and noteworthy.
Can I Find a Hug Today?
My four year old nephew came up to her early one morning. He carried a worn pillow under his arm, his thumb in his mouth, and with sleep in his eyes asked her, "Cici? Do you think we could find a hug today?" Yes, we found that warm hug, and the inspiration for a song many relate to.
My writing partner, Wes Caswell, wrote this lyric. His words naturally moved into a song affirming how at 70 years old, he will stay young. For more information about Wes Caswell, please go to the home page, and look under "about"
Parents Were Put on this Earth to Embarrass Us
My editor called and requested I write this song for all the teenagers in this world who are often embarrassed by their parents. The humor and pathos brings tears and laughter, compassion and understanding to the plight of both parties. From true life stories from one teenager, listeners are delighted, acknowledged, affirmed, and supported with humor and music.
The Essence of Pubescence
Here is another song to delight audiences of all ages. I must admit I wrote this lyric while sailing on Lake George, in up-state NY, one beautiful summer day. After hearing a father exclaim to his 14 year old daughter, "Why is it that you can be so wonderful one minute, and so horrible the next!!!" I wrote this patter song with great appreciation to my rhyming dictionary and thesaurus.
"I go from wonderful to horrible in less than just a minute.
Now you ask me to explain, I don't know where I should begin.
It never ceases to amaze me how I manage to annoy you.
I see your eyes ablaze.
Do you wish I was a boy?
You"ve got to look into my eyes,
Yes, I know I am a wonder,
But you"ve got to realize the major pressure that I'm under.
I feel I'm in control, and then my hormones start attacking
Yes, you may be able to relate to this one.
Years ago, I heard about Matthew, a four year old, who loved his collection of stuffed animals. His story is how his friends are his "diary." Children can be and often are understanding and wise beyond their years.
Love Me as I Am
Each audience that hears this song tells me this song is for their age group. High school students, middle school students, mothers, fathers... Etc. Without pointing fingers, with grace, and with sincere understanding and gentleness, this song asks acceptance. "With your love and support I"ll come through. Just give me a chance and I"ll prove it. But I gotta believe that you love me as I am."
The Remote is Mine
The new divorcee was not too happy about her new position of being single... well, being divorced. After reflecting on the situation, she did recognize, however,"the remote is mine."
Is There Room?
A familiar story, a familiar question.
Oh, the time will be soon, is there room?
One Child at a Time
Involved in education for 37 years, I have experienced the highs and lows of being a teacher. It is when our student "gets it" and we viscerally feel why we are educators. Sometimes, as paper work and accountability factor in, we question ourselves. This song affirms what we know in our hearts; we teach and reach one child at a time. This song affirms the teacher's hope and commitment for changing the world.
Hand in Hand, Eye to Eye
Scott Foresman asked me to write a song for their Social Studies program, this song speaks to how the subject is really about people being hand in hand and eye to eye, one neighbor to another. The song demonstrates my ability to write for a specific request on the corporate level.
Just Say, "No!"
This one plays a new twist on a phrase originally directed at children. This song has a mother and daughter discussing plans for a Friday night. In a musical aside, you hear the daughter wants mother to say,"No." The teen asks,"Won't you let me off the hook. I'm not as old as I look." The mother is in a noticeable quandary. The conclusion is humorous.
Written for American Greetings cards, this speaks to the power of one.
Two elementary school children, waiting for the bus, on the first day of school, wonder what it will be like.
I'm the Kid that Mom Had
This is a twist on "The House that Jack Built"
Had to Go
A fun country song, a musical story book - the country mouse heads to the big city. He just had to go!!!
The Four Food Groups
Dad is in charge again at dinnertime. He and the children concur that their eating needs to be watched, and all four food groups attended to. Yes, they are "Canned, Junk, Frozen and Fast." Can you relate to this one?
I had a song writing contract with the late Joe Raposo of Sesame Street fame. "Go to the source" he taught me. Go to the local diner and watch as the mothers, fathers, and kids go in and out. This song was written at the Glenville Queen Diner in Scotia, NY, and confirms that each one is truly trying to do his/her best. A quodlibet (4 parts), this song works well with middle school students, a family community theater, and intergenerational chorus.
The Kissing Box
Sven was 94, and Rita, 102. This lovely song tells of the box created by Sven. Not fancy, this box, made out of a cardboard box filled with paperback books (to keep it light weight) and wrapped in duct tape, was treasured by the two. You see, Rita was very short, and Papa Sven was so tall.
I'm a Person, Not a Kid
You've got it.
It's My Contention We Need an Invention
This scientific quest is for love and understanding.