A new song for a New Year

My New Year’s Day started off unremarkable. The evening before, my husband and I brought the New Year in East Coast time with the kids. We watched one of the “Harry Potter” movies and my husband made his delicious French onion soup.

Two days before New Year’s Eve, we drove home from Los Angeles on Dec. 30 after helping my mother-in-law pack up her apartment and spending some time with relatives and so having a quiet New Year’s Eve at home was perfect for all of us.

New Year’s Day was also pretty quiet. I watched Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” tour on Netflix and went through a big laundry basket of mismatched socks to try to start off the New Year with ample pairs of socks for the boys.

At some point amid all that, I wondered if this was a sad way to start the New Year. Scrolling through Facebook posts were the usual mix of happy vacationers and people doing productive things like hiking to the top of mountains. So right there at the beginning of the first day of the new year, and somewhat inspired by Taylor Swift, I decided to write a song.

I spent New Year’s Day sorting socks, cleaning out dresser drawers
Watching the Taylor Swift Reputation tour
Dreaming big dreams about where to go from here
Big dreams for the upcoming year

Three hundred sixty-five days of possibility
Three hundred sixty-five days to be a better me
I have a checklist of what I want to change
In the next three hundred sixty-five days

Halfway through the day, while cleaning clutter off my desk, I realized I was still in my pajamas, so I wrote that into the song, too.

I spent the day in my PJs, clearing clutter off the desk
Singing to myself while conquering this mess
Dreaming big dreams about where we go from here
Big dreams for this brand-new year

I sang the song throughout the day, making edits as I went along. As usual, I resolved to make some changes in the upcoming year, such as having more patience with my kids. And yet at the end of the day as the bedtime hour came and went and they were still running around, I lost it. Hence, the bridge:

By the end of the day, I broke a resolution,
I lost my patience, threatened retribution, but that’s OK

One thing I learned in the songwriting workshop is that adding a twist to a song, such as a surprise ending, can help keep it interesting so I decided to implement this advice in the last chorus.

I have three hundred sixty-four days to try again
Three hundred sixty-four days to make amends
I have a checklist of what I want to change
In the next three hundred sixty-four days.

And there you have it, my first song of 2019: “365 Days.”

The Arizona Songwriters Association’s annual gathering was a few weeks later so I decided to perform the song there and was happy to see the last chorus got a few chuckles from the audience.

I also decided to use it as this year’s submission to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest. I knew I didn’t have any chance of winning, as there are thousands of entries by very talented individuals and bands, but since I entered last year and loved being a part of it even in a very small way, I made a video to submit (the only criteria is it has to be an original song and there has to be a desk in the video.) Since my song even included a desk in the lyrics, I thought it was a good fit. Here’s the video:

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