I'm a sucker for all things sincere, and most things bordering on (if not completely) sappy. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm prone to weeping while watching films, reading books, and experiencing genuinely proud moments, among other times. I remember "being caught" in a tear-welling moment at Christmas of 2011 while watching my then 3 year-old niece complete a puzzle on her own. Watching her determination as she tried piece after piece in place after place, and then finally getting it, well that was a beautiful moment that I won't soon forget, and definitely a tear-jerker.
I am pretty sure I get it from my mother, and I'm pretty sure she got it from her father, at least so the story goes. I never had the privilege of meeting him, but from any stories I've heard, I imagine the two of us would have been the best of friends, and shared some tears in genuinely happy moments.
I had a very happy moment that same Christmas I mentioned earlier, when I heard the news of dear friends getting engaged. Kevin was a good friend from my university days, and since the day I met his beloved partner Ashlyn, we've shared what I consider a pretty strong bond as well. I call her "my first fan", as she was the first person I remember being a fan of a song that I wrote who didn't have to be, in that, I didn't know her at the time, and she just genuinely liked a song, and wasn't simply being supportive of her friend. Anyway, the news of their engagement was certainly a happy moment for me, and with a guitar in hand while I was home in Sarnia for the holidays, I started to craft what would eventually become one of my favourite songs that I've written. I don't like songs I write because of how they sound, necessarily, but how I feel when I play them, and this one evokes a lovely feeling every time.
Kevin and Ashlyn shared what I considered to be an old-fashioned romantic love story, and to me, there is nothing more old-fashioned romantic love story-like than letter-writing. I love letters. I think letter-writing is a lost art. So when I sat down to write this song for my old-fashioned romantic love story friends, I decided to write it in the form of a letter. This letter is written from a songwriter to his sister. I pictured the songwriter coming from somewhere up north, venturing south to find work and opportunity for his music. Somewhere along the way though, he meets a girl, they fall in love, and decide to get married. It's at this point where he writes the letter to his sister, to tell her the news, to reminisce about their childhood, and to assure her that he's doing okay.
I'm lucky in real life to have a sister that's always looking out for me. She's my biggest supporter, and the first person I can go to with anything. She tells me what I need to hear, whether I want to hear it or not, and I think that's something everyone needs in their lives, especially those of us who live in an ideal world bubble. If we were even a few years older, I imagine this song would be the kind of letter I would write to her to tell her how things were going in my life. Nowadays, it's text messages and email, and I think a bit of the charm of the world has been lost with these conveniences. I tell some people that we've never had so many ways to communicate with each other as we do now, but we don't seem to do it as effectively. Even things like invitations - those little cards that I got for birthday parties from my friends at school when I was a kid - now that they're sent through email or social media, we don't seem to value them as much.
Today's post is not about that though. It's about "Dear Alice", inspired by Kevin and Ashlyn, who are now happily married, and have a beautiful little girl. I had a chance to play the song for them at their wedding, and it will be one of those moments I'll always hold close. It's the new closest thing I have to a love song, inspired by one of my favourite couples, who continue to live their "happily ever after" together.