This month I got a little inspiration from a phoebe who nested in the rafters of my front porch. Of course, this inspiration settled into a song. Come into my kitchen and I will share it with you!
I always enjoy sharing the stage with Seth Connelly.
Photo: © 2016 Dan Tapppan
Margo and I are enjoying the first weeks of our retirement in our summer getaway cabin in Jaffrey, NH. I think I can get used to this.
This Month’s Music
I Do the Best I Can
I Do the Best I Can
© 2016 Tom Smith (ASCAP)
The weight of an ugly presidential campaign has been pressing heavily upon my shoulders these last few months. When I couple this with other discouraging headlines, I often want to just give up. During a quiet time in our little cabin in the woods of New Hampshire, two voices spoke to me and lifted my spirit. The first voice came from my mother. When I was a boy, at times like this she would tell me “Just do the best you can, Tommy.” And the second voice came from a phoebe who nested in the rafters of my front porch. Such a lovely voice from a little bird who tirelessly foraged for dragon flies and worms for her noisy offspring.
I love it when listeners discuss my songs with me and share their own insight. At a recent performance at The Natick Center for the Arts, one listener told me that he really liked that song I wrote about Bernie and Hillary. Perhaps he saw the tilt of my head and the curious look in response when he said, “Obviously Bernie Sanders is the ‘old man who plays the banjo’, and Hillary Clinton is the phoebe.” This brought a large smile to my face, and I wonder now if that is indeed what I was subconsciously thinking when I wrote this song.
This phoebe family seems to pass down this same nest from generation to generation. The video below was made back in 2010. I like to think one of those little fledgelings in this video is the adult phoebe who spoke to me this spring.
Do the best you can. Your children and their children will thank you!
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm, Concord, MA
The Chanticleers joyfully return to the Old Manse in historic Concord, MA. Kate Chadbourne, Pat Kenneally, Robert Phillipps, Linda Abrams and I perform traditional Irish/English/American and original music with guitar, harp, flute, banjo, boudhran, harmonica, and other instruments. Weather permitting.
Saturday, Nov. 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm, Tiverton, RI
Chuck Williams hosts four songwriters from the Rhode Island Songwriters Association community. I am pumped to share the evening with Grant Malloy Smith and two other songwriters TBA.
Click to view details for all upcoming shows.
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