Lisa Nicole Grace - Tree of Life
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song diary – entry #3

December 8, 2011

Since my last song diary entry, I have had quite the whirlwind life! My brother in law Brent and I went on tour with Via Rail across Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan and Manitoba! We played two shows a day on the train, and got off the train in Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg to play additional shows. It was definitely the most I’ve ever sung in my life. I felt like a real musician. I got to play to some big crowds off the train, but on the train it was mostly smaller intimate crowds of 15 or so. All performances on the train were unplugged, so it was just Brent and I and his guitar. This was a great opportunity to really tell people about my songs. Why I wrote them, who I wrote them for. ┬áSo here I am to share with YOU readers (if there are any out there of course) the inspiration behind the 3rd song on my album, titled “Clearer Day.”

I wrote Clearer Day during my time in Nova Scotia. I went to St. Francis Xavier University to complete my Bachelor’s Degree of Music in Honours as a jazz performance vocal major. I live there for two years. What a beautiful part of the country, and what an amazing opportunity to put my entire focus on music. I can confidently say those were the two most musical years of my life. Everyday I lived, breathed, ate, slept and dreamed music, music, music! When I wasn’t in class I was tucked away in a practise room. When I was finished my jazz studies, I was writing. I was experimenting outside the jazz realm with my own songs, melodies, and lyrics. Oh how many songs I wrote in those two condensed years! I definitely took that time for granted, as now most of my writing happens when I’m driving, or when I’m laying in bed trying to fall asleep. I am sure I will never have a time in my life again when everything I do revolves around music as it did during my time in the maritimes.

Clearer Day is one of my songs that I actually wrote for myself. A lot of my songs are written about or for others, but this one was definitely for me. This may sound slightly ridiculous to some of you but this song was actually inspired by my struggle with acne. When I was living in the maritimes, the climate was so vastly different from my dry as a bone home in the prairies, and my skin suffered. Now for those of you who have never had skin problems, I don’t really expect you to understand. But for me, my face was what I presented to the world as a singer, and a performer. I had pretty severe cystic acne when I was at school. It was probably a combination of stress, hormones and the environment but it wasn’t pretty. There were days when I didn’t even want to leave my dorm, or days when I wore a toque or hat all day long just so I could hide under it. I felt ugly. Sometimes I would get seriously dark and depressed about the situation. This song was a letter I wrote to myself about what I was going through.

Thankfully I had great friends and a boyfriend who didn’t care about my skin. They loved me unconditionally and when I was the hardest on myself they usually brought me out of my funk some way or another. I’m 28 now and still suffer with skin issues now and then, but whenever I do I just try and remember the lines of the chorus “I’m alright, and I’m sure I’ll be ok, I’ll just close my eyes and pray for a clearer day.” This song reminds me not to focus on the outward appearance, that everyone has their insecurities and that I am beautiful on the inside, and that is what counts.

Thanks for reading. I will continue the song diary in the weeks to come.