Song Biography

Diane, Song Biographies
The Voyage Through Music, Art and Life

Sail Away
1. “Sail Away” One of the first songs I wrote in the early 70′s, my brother, Larry composed the music and I wrote the text. It is about the Journey of Life. Mary Travers helped me with the line, “Silent in an empty Harbor”. Thank you, Mary.

The Castle of Dramoor
2. “The Castle of Dramoor” This song composed in the 1700′s tells about Bonny Prince Charley when he was born. He did survive to become King Charles the Third of England thanks to support from the Armies of Scotland and Ireland. I have relatives on my Mother’s side of the family who fought in the Battle of Culloden Field. My Father’s side of our Family were from Ireland.

Where are We Going?
3. “Where are We Going?” The first song I ever wrote. Also about the passing of time, which is a recurring theme in many of my songs.

Tall Grass
4. “Tall Grass” One of the Coffee Houses I sang in was owned by Joanne Davis, herself a Singer/Songwriter. It was located on the Banks of the Hudson River and called, “Fair Harbor”. Although this song was written by Joanne, the Memory of “the rug and the fireplace”, and “the firelight on your face….” is my own of one of the Woodworkers in the Botega near Wilmington.

Child of Light
5. “Child of Light” This is the song I composed on the way home from Pennsylvania. The Glee Club of Westover went on a Tour through Europe. They sang in the Vatican for the Pope! Well, that is definitely, “Sing to Pray”! The song they sang was “The Christ Child Lullaby” and Cynthia sang a solo verse!

I’ve Seen my Valley
6. “I’ve Seen my Valley” One of the Coffee Houses I sang in was in Albany, New York. There I met a Singer/Songwriter by the name of Richard Wilkie. He wrote this song about the Hudson River. We crossed it many times over the Tappanzee Bridge (in the painting), I painted Russ on the hillside with “Hya-Cynths” and “ForCynthia’s” around him. I found out recently that Richard Wilkie was Dutch! In the painting also is the “Halve Maan” – the ship that was given to Henry Hudson of England to travel to the “New Land” by the Dutch!

Margaret is Feeding the Birds
7. “Margaret is Feeding the Birds” I wrote this song during the time Russ and I were separated, and divorced, and I had moved to Bethel, Connecticut. Again, “Life goes on” and Margaret feeds the Birds. In reality Margaret was an older woman, but I painted Cynthia as Margaret.

Valley of the Wounded Heart
8. “Valley of the Wounded Heart”. Russ wrote this beautiful and touching song. He is one of the Best Songwriters in the World, even if he isn’t quite so well-known. He sings it and has recorded it, Cynthia sings it and has recorded it, and now I sing it and have recorded it and Painted it! We have all been through the Valley of the Wounded Heart at one time or another in our lives.

It is Love
9. “It is Love” I wrote this song in April, 1984 when Hans and I had been together for about a month. At the time of the writing, I didn’t know for sure that we would get married, or have a Beautiful daughter whom we named Gaia, the Ancient Godess of Nature. I didn’t name her that because of the song, but because I read an article about the Gaia Hypothesis in a newspaper article and knew that that would be the name of the Child I was carrying and was soon to be born.

The Christ Child Lullaby
10. “The Christ Child Lullaby” Although this is a Christian Song written in the 13th century in the Hebridean Islands off the coast of Scotland, to me it means MOTHERHOOD. Therefore I have painted myself and my two Prescious Daughters.

Winter Roses
11. “Winter Roses” One day when I arrived at my work as a receptionist in April, it had snowed the night before. There were Roses blooming in the snow! This lovely sight inspired me to write “Winter Roses” for Hans.

Dream Spinner
12. “Dream Spinner” I wrote this song for my Wonderful Dutch Family, as well as Hans, of course.

Invitation to Journey
13. “Invitation to Journey”. This song, a poem written by Charles Baudelaire, French Poet in the 1800′s, was translated and music written by Alasdair Clayre. I think it is the most Beautiful Song that I sing and to me it is the epitome of Holland. I found out recently that Monsieur Baudelaire was visiting Amsterdam when he wrote it. “All is ordered Beauty there, Calm and Luxury and Pleasure.”
The painting is of the Hermitage Restaurant in Zeist, which is also Beauty, Calm, Luxury and Pleasure. Our “Journey” to Holland has lasted 13 years, and will never end. We belong here.

The Great Divide
14. “The Great Divide” This song by Singer/Songwriter, Kate Wolf has been in our family for a very long time. Cynthia used to sing it and recorded it, and she and Gaia sang it at the “Going Away Party” that we had in America before leaving to live in Holland. So, the Atlantic Ocean is the Great Divide in our lives, but we all remain close in spite of that distance. Although there is no Wolf mentioned in the song, I painted a Wolf to honor Kate. In 2010 my Brother, Richie Reed passed away. Heartbroken, I traveled to Colorado to attend his funeral. I sang one of the first songs he helped me learn so long ago, “The Last thing on my Mind”, by Tom Paxton. While I was there, my Brother in Law, Steve, took me for a walk through the Rocky Mountains. At one point he said, “Look! That is the Great Divide!” I took photos, so the Painting of The Great Divide is true.

The Blessing Song
15. “The Blessing Song” This song was written by Gail Vale, a friend of Beverly Branch, who sang for Hans’ and my Wedding. Thank You, Gale. I sing it now, and have painted it as my wonder Dutch parents, Papa and Mama, who are the Patriarch and Matriarch of our very large and wonderful Dutch Family.

16. “Miranda” This song, also written by Joanne Davis is about her Cat called Miranda. But, there is a much larger story. We all have “Birds” locked inside us – our Dreams and Wishes for the Future. The song says that the Birds “Dash against the pane – meaning window pane, but it also means “Pain”, the pain in our hearts that we must fight against to be free to Follow our Dreams! I have done it! I have completed my Life’s Dream!

Child of the Sky
17. “Child of the Sky” In 2001, Cynthia gave birth to a very special little Boy. His name is also Russell. I was present at his birth and while most children come into the world crying, Little Russ came out quietly and while being handed to me, as I carried him around the room, he just had a very gentle smile on his little face, as if to say, “Ah. Here I am. ” I remember thinking. “Yes, the world will be in good hands in the future.” I always think of him when I sing this song, a song I actually wrote in 1969 and recently found in a file of old songs. I didn’t save the music, so, Hans said, “Well, write new music! So I did, and it is one of my most favorite songs.