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This summer I revisited older songs written for my daughters Ida and Minna and wrote “follow-up” songs to reflect the current moment. Today a follow-up song also beckoned to be voiced for Ella, the most recently born of the three precious daughters I am proud to call mine.

”Child of October” takes its title from Ella’s birthday month which is coming up. She will turn 9 on October 25th. Children are not just children and then suddenly become adolescents, then adults, although these are the 3 main categories many broadly think with when we perceive others.

While Minna is now in her mid-teens (adolescent), and Ida is in her early twenties (an adult), Ella is a child, but she is also changing slightly personality-wise and otherwise, and those adolescent years will be here soon.

We cannot freeze time, although many parents, I am sure, often feel it would be nice to be able to just slow it down a little. These special moments that turn to weeks, months and years seem to vanish through our fingers like sand. We cannot hold them. Pictures do little to remedy this, although they are certainly nice to have as mnemonic devices.

Lyric work for “Child of October”

This is a theme I have touched upon in songwriting before, (perhaps most notably in “Girl On a Swing” (2007). But instead of lamenting the passing of time, I wanted to give “Child of October” a different tinge.

Textually it engages with the way I “see” my daughter beyond her physical appearance. These glimpses most clearly manifest in the many games, creative interactions, “ingenious constructions”, etc. that characterizes her daily activities. Creating/making/shaping. Colors, forms, manifestations.
These activities and artifacts also have a way of reflecting an inner world. And that world is very special.

The song is written in appreciation of that inner world, and in appreciation for being able to see it. I have learned that this kind of vision can take some work on the part of the outsider. The ability to notice when the magic happens – in what could be otherwise seen as mundane moments – is an overlooked and underappreciated sensitivity in our modern society.

Listen here:

Note to self (and any other interested parties): Songwriting can help focus on important things that may not otherwise be noticed. We may not be able to freeze time, but we can capture a feeling, a moment.