“Been a Long Time”, celebrates my grandfather, Ray Rosander, and the need we all have to connect with each other.
I was asking questions about who anchors us — to family, to love, and who connects us to the earth. For me that person is Grandpa Ray. He was a simple man, a farmer, but he taught so much about life by his example.
When I began to write the song “Been A Long Time”, the first lines came immediately, thinking of Grandpa’s hands. Grandpa had farmer’s hands; “When I think of you I think of your hands, strong, worn and brown suntan”. Next the chorus came easily; “Oh, it’s been a long time, but you are still on my mind”. Grandpa left a legacy of love that is still with me, no matter how many years go by.
I got a little stuck writing the second verse. For inspiration I decided to pull out my Grandpa’s eulogy, which was tucked away in my file cabinet. My cousin Debra Alsberge had written the eulogy and read it at Grandpa’s service, with her two sons, Joey and Matt, at her side. It was straight from the heart, giving a real sense of who Grandpa was and expressed everything I felt and wanted to say. I always treasured the eulogy and now, reading it gave me an idea for the lines of the second verse. “When I was a child I learned I could count on you. You didn’t mind my questions, always easy to talk to.”
Recently I had to write promo material about “Been A Long Time” for the release, a kind of “bio” for the song. I decided to pull out the eulogy again for inspiration. For some reason, that morning, I decided to scan and email the eulogy to my cousin Debra, as it suddenly occurred to me she probably didn’t have a copy. Almost immediately she called and turns out, she hadn’t seen the eulogy since the day of Grandpa’s service in 1995. She asked when I decided to send it to her, which was just that morning, in the spur of the moment. Then she told me that the night before, she woke up in the middle of the night feeling distressed. She was praying and meditating and after a while, she called out to Grandma and Grandpa, asking, “Are you there, are you listening?” The next morning the eulogy arrived in her inbox; an answer to her prayer “Are you there, are you listening?” Grandpa was someone who could always be counted on to be himself and connecting with his memory has been healing. It allows me to connect with my authentic self, to remember who I am and my soul’s purpose. ” The song is my prayer for listeners. I hope that you may experience the healing power of music and be reminded of what is really important in life.
Read Grandpa Ray’s Eulogy here.
Read the lyrics here.
I’m busting with excitement over here! The Release Party is only 10 days away! I want YOU to join me at El Cid, February 16th for a spectacular and fun night!
Watch the “Invitation Video”.
Can you find the stories in the eulogy where I drew inspiration for the lyrics? Is there someone in your life who inspires you, who anchors you and connects you to the important things in life? I’d love to hear from you!