Jazz, Lyrics, Lyrics for other Composers, Music, Songwriting, Writing

Prelude to Spring – Singing & Learning

Oh man! I have been singing in Rome and having so much fun! It has been especially gratifying this month because I was able to sing a couple of original songs/lyrics that had never been performed in public before.

At one of the Barry Harris Jazz Workshop jam sessions, I was asked to sing a Bossa and chose to debut the English lyrics (called “Happiness”) that I wrote for Jobim’s A Felicidade. A couple of people approached me afterwards to tell me how much they liked my English interpretation, so that made me feel really good. It was a difficult song to transform as Portugese is so light and soft, English so harsh. I am glad people still connect to the story in English.

Early Thursday morning, before the piano class began, I was able to test out my new lead sheet for a totally original song called “West of the Sun“. I am very grateful to Tomasz Bialowolski on piano and Luca Peruzzi on bass for their gracious assistance. They made the song come to life for me and if you click here you can hear our exchange as we try out the sheet music for the first time, and at the end, a little bit of my conversation with a friend about what inspired the song.  (The full lyrics are listed below.)

Best of all, last week, I was invited by my friend, Nicola Borrelli, to sing a couple of tunes with his trio at Démodé, a terrific restaurant on Via Tuscolana. If you live in Rome check it out; it is walking distance from the Subaugusta metro stop. The energy there is really positive and the food is great, fresh ingredients and served quickly. (But perhaps I am biased because I believe live jazz makes all food taste better.)

Not only have I had the luck, and honor, to meet and work with these wonderful Italian jazz musicians, but because I do not sing professionally, I also had the opportunity to see and learn what is needed to make sure a set goes well. (For example, always make sure the venue expects you, and that a working microphone is available. Or, alternatively, that someone in the rhythm section brings one with them.) Believe me, I am taking notes, because one day I will be doing more performances and knowledge is power. The feedback I received during this trip was really motiviating and I hope to keep the momentum going!

Okay, here are my public thank you’s–I am so thankful to these musicians for their kind invitation to me: Giambattista Gioia, Vincenzo Lucarelli, and Nicola Borrelli. Also, a virtual hug to each of my friends who traveled to come and hear us, with a special thank you to Stefano Landini for taking time out of his evening to get us a working microphone – disaster averted.

I think you can tell how excited I am to be able to post three songs on YouTube from this March 10th performance at Démodé, Rome. Please check them out – links are below.

inside Demode

Flugelhorn/Trumpet – Giambattista Gioia
Piano – Vincenzo Lucarelli
Bass – Nicola Borrelli
Vocals – Laurie Early


Here are the links:


Giambattista, Laurie, and Vincenzo

Our Love is Here to Stay

Laurie, Vincenzo and Nicola

East of the Sun & West of the Moon

and, I was able to perform a new song with music by Nicola Borrelli and lyrics I wrote called The Big Mystery. (I have included the lyrics below, and also in the notes at YouTube.)

Laurie Early & Nicola Borrelli

Laurie Early & Nicola Borrelli

The Big Mystery
Music © Nicola Borrelli
Lyrics © Laurie Early

What kind of spell is this intoxicating kiss?
Your magical embrace captured my heart.
It’s a mystery to me how this happened
for every wall I built just fell apart

When your eyes meet with mine
my heartbeat skips each time
Your voice is like a song I’ve never heard
It’s a mystery to me why this happens
So when you speak I cling to every word

Your lips have left me weak and
I am breathless
Your eyes reveal new worlds,
my soul is restless
I’ve fallen into joyful madness
It’s true,
I fell for you

So, hold me close and tight
each day and every night
We’ll live where sunlight dances on the sea
For the world is in your arms,
that’s the mystery.
Now you are everywhere,
your love is everything
You’re everywhere and everything to me.




West of the Sun
© 2014 Laurie Early
(Title suggested by Roger Crosdale; Rome, September 2014)

In another dimension
I am yours and you are mine
Parallel to this world is a universe so fine
it’s another dimension, another dimension
made for us…

West of the Sun and next to that cloud
Up in the stratosphere, where three’s a crowd
No one there to scold us, or tell us that we’re wrong
We’re making up new verses to a romantic song
West of the sun, West of the sun

East of the Moon and close to that star
Love always follows us, knows exactly where we are
Each kiss feels just like heaven touching our lips
and all of our embraces cause a lunar eclipse.
West of the sun, West of the sun

If we slip out of alignment
and the real world makes us weep
to return a dream is needed,
baby, so slumber well and deep
Put a wish under your pillow,
swear that I’m the only one
and I will be there waiting for you
West of the sun, West of the sun

West of the Sun and East of the Moon
lies a dimension where our heartbeats are in tune
Just close your eyes, oh baby, yeah, we’ll go there now
all that is needed is that wish and a little vow
West of the Sun, West of the sun

Let’s go West! Andiamo lassu’!
Let’s go West,
West of the sun.


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