By Wendy Saydah
Some people have asked me about the evolution of the song, “Blue Skies,” how it came about, what inspired it, when it was written. With the advent of our Tiny Desk music video highlighting the song, it seemed like a good time to reflect on these questions and blog it out.
I wrote the first version of the song (formerly called “Nobody Knows About Me”) in 2008 at a time when I was working on songwriting as part of my guitar training with Greg Passler. The song is essentially about some of the deeper parts of myself that are kept hidden or not given a voice. These are the parts that are different, personal, vulnerable (nobody knows about me). The song also expresses an acceptance and even self love (dancing alone cause it feels so good) of these lesser known pieces and deals with the sadness of isolation by seeking out happy people (replacing the tears with your laughing eyes) and good times. In other words, blue skies.
I have written songs as far back as I can remember (using several tape recorders to lay down different tracks) and one thing I have noticed is this. At least for me, the best inspiration comes at times when I am not expecting it, not looking for it, not even trying. It is at these times that a feeling (and it always starts as a feeling as opposed to an idea or thought) begins to tug from deep inside. Most of the time, the emerging emotion gets ignored or pushed away in an attempt to deal with the day to day. However, if it is not acknowledged immediately, it disappears, never to return, at least not in the same way. In the case of “Blue Skies,” the inspiration and the time lined up and I was able to sit down with my guitar and pen and let it come forth.
I was mostly happy with the song right away. It became one of my favorites, actually. So, when Peter and I began playing together and I started pulling out some of my old originals, this was one of the first ones I shared. I was a little worried at first that it would be too slow for us or maybe better played by one person. However, once Peter got a hold of it, he helped bring it to another level. He created a much better groove, added tasteful harmonies in just the right places, and threw in a few lines here and there. He really helped bring the song to life.
Once we had come up with a version of the song that we both liked, we recorded it and I had a listen. I immediately realized that the name, “Nobody Knows About Me,” no longer made sense and renamed the song “Blue Skies.” I am extremely optimistic and excited about the future of Wendy Darling and the Lost Boy. The possibilities are endless, the potential unlimited, and the skies…..well, the skies are definitely blue.
Greg Passler and Heidi LaFleche said:
Great Post. I always like that song! Hope you are having a good vacation!
How’s it going? I really enjoyed your piece about the back story / story and evolution of your song…even though songs can be self explanatory I find it nice to chat about inspirations and development!!!
Virginia Petzold said:
Wow! This is beautiful…I have no words other than I cant wait to hear more!