Things are looking up for Roger Street Friedman as The Waiting Sky, the Brooklyn-based songwriter’s brand new album, arrives Tuesday (Jan. 14).
Friedman says “The Waiting Sky” was chosen to be the title track because the phrase — and the album — encapsulates “love, birth, death and everything in between.”
By email, Friedman fielded a few questions about the poignant, personal track.
CMT Edge: I like the imagery about driving with the kids and being aware of everyone’s dreams. How do your kids influence your songwriting?
Friedman: Having children transformed me in the most profound way. In addition to being infused with the deepest, most abiding love, I became acutely aware of my own mortality, the passing of time and the cycle of life.
I got a visceral schooling in this when my mother passed away suddenly just two weeks before my wife gave birth to our first child. That was devastating, but eventually, after the mourning and sadness started to ebb, her love shone through to comfort me. … And then my daughter was born, and I experienced joy like never before.
Our parents love us so deeply. I realized that that love lives on forever, and as she passed it down to me, I will pass it down to my daughter and my son. My two children open my eyes. … It’s wonderful to see the world through their eyes and to gain the lens of a father. The love I feel for them has made me whole. This has influenced my songwriting immensely.
Wandering through the empty home near the end of the song is very evocative. What does that setting represent for you?
This scene, to me, represents an older person who is now alone in the house where they raised their children. Their lifelong partner is now gone. He or she is looking back over a life of memories. Looking at a picture with a smile. The smile has a dual meaning. … It represents the reflection on all of the wonderful times that were shared over the span of a lifetime and also the realization that time is getting shorter and shorter. The next phase will be passing on.
Even though there are melancholy moments, I feel that this is a very optimistic song. Do you sense that as well?
Absolutely! I do feel that it is. The song is saying that even though it eventually has to end, we are so lucky to be here at all. We have a chance to create the life we want. The song says, ‘Go for it!!’
Enjoy the CMT Edge premiere of Roger Street Friedman’s “The Waiting Sky.”