Aubade | The Story Behind the Song

Aubade took me seven whole years to complete.  Because of this it bridges the full lifespan of the ‘Not All the Leaves are Falling’ album project.  I wrote the music for the first verse and the music and lyrics for the ‘In the glow of silver light’ section in the middle of a personal crisis aged 26, when I found myself suddenly processing some traumatic childhood experiences. I was too scared to write whatever lyrics belonged to the haunting melody of the first verse. So for years, the song sat and waited for me as I went on my healing journey.

In the fresh wave of creativity I found myself in after I began the recording project that became ‘Not All the Leaves are Falling’, I found myself revisiting this intense song. A chorus suddenly came which carried the promise and the rippling movement of this chapter of renewed vitality I found myself in. The chorus is quite different musically – some of you may have noticed that the verses are in 4/4 and the chorus is in 6/8 – but the musical transition felt to me like the breaking of morning after a long night which felt true to the story that was trying to be told.

The chorus lyrics come out of two ancient Hebrew poems/songs which were flickering inside of me at the time, echoing the spiritual landscape I felt I was walking in.

‘Those living far away fear your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy.’ ~ King David, Psalm 65

‘See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.’ ~ Song of Solomon 2:11-12

In my blog-post, Creativity, Resistance and Soul Care I talk about some of the dynamics of processing childhood trauma as an adult.  It was only after arriving at a more stable place in my healing journey where I could visit the currents of childhood trauma without getting lost in it, only after I had seen the morning and felt it – only then was I was able to go back and write the lyrics that matched the sad and haunting melody where the song began.  I wrote those lyrics in the chapel at Titoki Christian Healing Centre, a safe and healing place in which to write about deep and dark rivers.

Aubade is a French word which means ‘a love song greeting the morning’.  This song holds the story of awakening to the emotional truth of my own experiences, and a deeper awakening to the God of peace, love and healing who has been there all along. It acknowledges the deep, long cloak of night and points to the break of morning that is always coming.

Creativity, Resistance and Soul Care | By Kathryn Overall

 

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Aubade | Lyrics

Begun in the autumn of 2008, completed in the autumn of 2014

Deep and dark the river runs
Through the long forgotten years.
Inky black the channels come
Filled with shadows, filled with fears.
Rising through the ocean tides
Through my dreams into my waking hours
I start to weep
As I fall back asleep.

In the glow of silver light
Something deep inside is waking.
Rising from its hidden bed
From the place where it’s been breaking.
Stand to see the sun again
At break of dawn there’s no mistaking
You’ve been by my side
I’ve woken to the light.

When evening fades and morning breaks
You call forth songs of joy.
Tomorrow brings the scent of spring
The season for singing has come.

Through the layers, through the years
Searching, seeking, ever finding
Pieces of the girl I was
Trapped in time, lost in hiding.
Peace and healing comes
I can hear your voice reminding me
I’m not alone
You’ve been with me all along.

I’ve learned to love, learned to see
Learned to hear your voice inside me.
I have learned to rest and be
I have felt your arms around me.
And when I am lost at sea
I am found ’cause you surround me.
Tears come in the night
But you are my sunrise.

When evening fades and morning breaks
You call forth songs of joy.
Tomorrow brings the scent of spring
The season for singing has come.

I hear your call
Awaken the dawn.

© Kathryn Overall 2014

This song is from Kathryn Overall’s debut album, ‘Not All the Leaves are Falling’.

 

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