Clicking the blue link plays audio:
Below is a link to the first blog post about this song:
LAUGHTER AND TEARS
Copyright 2011 by Judy Unger
I still remember the laughter we shared
In the beginning, we danced and we played
Back then, we had so many highs and they’d been
from the music we felt within
Sadness was lonely; it tore us apart
Numbness and pain left no room in my heart
I still remember the tears we once shared
We both cried for our suffering
And you didn’t know about the irony
Those tears stole you from me
Sadness was lonely; it tore us apart
Losing the laughter is what broke my heart
I still remember the laughter and tears
In the beginning it was laughter, then tears
And over time I’ve come to see
How grateful I can be
to realize you still love me
In December of 2010, I expanded upon a song that I wrote at the age of 19. My song was named Laughter and Tears. The song I composed in 1979 had beautiful chord progressions and a haunting melody.
My song was written during a time of disillusionment. I was tired of the emotional upheaval I kept experiencing in my relationship with my best friend, Cheryl. All the “ups and downs” became a metaphor of laughter and tears, which seemed perfect for me.
Like many of my songs, I revised it and found many of those same feelings within my marriage.
At the time I revised my song, I was still in the state of denying my true feelings. I told myself many stories that allowed me to stay in my marriage for 31 years. One of the stories I told myself was how beautiful it was that my husband and I had stayed together through thick and thin.
The ending line of my song was, “I’ve learned to see how grateful I can be; to realize you still love me . . .”
I told myself I was grateful in order to cope with my disillusionment.
When I stopped suppressing my feelings only a year later, I awakened to the awareness that there was little demonstration of love in our marriage. Remaining married and staying in our miserable relationship was more about fear than love.
Suddenly, those lyrics were far too painful for me to sing.
For the last 2 ½ years, I attempted to replace the last lyric lines of my song. Time and time again I scrawled out replacement lines but nothing really hit me and I discarded this song.
Then I found my insight. I wasn’t supposed to change those lyrics.
When I sing them, I am reminded of how I had deeply wished things were different. I remember that I found the courage to change my life and for that I am grateful!
I married at the age of 20 and planned to stick it out for the rest of my life. I was in a huge “mind rut” because I saw no other options for myself. When my intuition told me that I was unhappy, I countered it with stories over and over again. My happiness just wasn’t important, as fear of change kept me stuck.
Keeping that ending line also served another purpose. I wanted my song to be touching for other people – people who actually have stayed together despite laughter and tears and remained in love.
There is the line in my song “tears stole you away from me.” Tears actually saved my life, even though grief was horribly isolating for me. The suppression of tears and stoicism in grief never served me – though for my husband it was his method of coping.
For a long time, I told myself that my marriage might have survived if there hadn’t been so much grief going on. Once again, it was a story that allowed me to accept my fate. The truth was that I was lonely and filled my empty spaces by devoting myself to my parents and children.
Honesty is not always pleasant.
For certain, I refuse to ever allow laughter to end in my life again. The best part is that the laughter is mine and I can decide whether I want to share it!
Is too much honesty a fault?
For me, it isn’t. I healed when I opened my heart. All of my songs comprise the musical of my life. They are my subconscious speaking to me. When I listen to my own lyrics, I am uplifted.
Every single one of my songs say things to me that are separate from what the lyrics appear to be.
A few weeks ago, my voice teacher Kimberly said something very interesting. I told her that I was nervous about sharing my song “The Unknown.” The lyrics to that song are painful because they express how unhappy I was in my marriage.
Kimberly said, “Once you share a song, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. It belongs to the person listening. They will interpret the lyrics for themselves and to their own experience.”
I liked what she said. That is what I hope for. I want my songs to move other people and touch them in unique ways.
Since my recent Ayahuasca experience I am in a much better place. I feel completely liberated from being in the “mind rut” that I was in before. I see so many opportunities now and have let go of being so critical of my own singing. I plan to put more of my energy toward live performances again soon.
Singing is simply a vehicle to share what is in my heart. Improving my voice has been the metaphor for my life. I have more of a dynamic range now and a better understanding of keeping the tone “open.” But once again, the metaphor of trying to create a perfect tone slaps me in the face.
When I’ve been thinking of only creating a perfect tone, I cannot connect with my own lyrics. So last week, I didn’t concentrate on singing many vocal takes for a single song. Instead, I sang vocals for a few of my older songs. I spent two hours editing each song, instead of twenty hours. The arrangements for these songs were recorded at the beginning of my journey in 2010 and I feel like now I have a stronger voice for them.
I’ve decided to go with “less perfect,” or perfectly adequate as a better way of looking at my singing.
I may not be Streisand, but there’s no one else who can sing like Judy Unger. And I have my own music to sing, too.
Thank you, God, for this beautiful healing gift that I was given.
© 2013 by Judy Unger http://www.myjourneysinsight.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.