PORTLAND, Maine — It’s been two years since I last wrote a song for the BDN website. That ditty was about the “Hawk that Flew the Wrong Way.”
Beforehand, I’d written and sung about the North Pond Hermit, a pig on the run, Maine’s most beloved road atlas and a woman who saved her tavern when the British burned Portland in 1775. Also once stood on my porch in a snowstorm and sang a ditty about how inevitable Maine snow is in the wintertime.
This year, lots of people asked me when I was going to write something about the special kind of trouble 2020 brought us. That would be, of course, the coronavirus pandemic, divisive politics and mass protests in the streets.
But there’s nothing funny about any of those things.
I was stumped for the longest time. My songs are usually upbeat and hopeful. I didn’t want to write a downer to pile onto all the other low moments of the year.
Then, this week, my wife, Kris, said, “There ain’t nothing funny about 2020. Isn’t that your song title right there?”
She was right of course. From there, I went for a couple walks, did some humming — and stole a few ideas from Brent (my editor), Travis (my friend) and Libby (someone I interviewed for a story a few weeks back).
By 1 a.m. the next morning, I had a song. I hope you like it. Happy New Year. Let’s think about the better days to come.