Beauty

Beauty
Choose That Road
Brave
Roll Into Light
Betty's Room
Who Will Say
Mandolin
Monday Song
Forgiven
2 Steps
Run To You
Harmony Row




I was raised on the music my older siblings listened to, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the Doors ... My family emigrated from Norway before I was born, I was the youngest of four growing up in small town Ontario, and when I was old enough to notice them, my siblings were leaving home. One sister moved to Montreal, lived a 'Bohemian' lifestyle as an actress and social activist. My other sister moved to Toronto to join the hippies in Rochdale. My brother moved north and became an organic farmer. I was left with my parents and their record collection of European folk music, American jazz and Hollywood musicals. I would beg my sisters to bring back their records when they returned home for holidays. Every Saturday morning I would go with friends to Sam the Record Man, and we would agree on the 45's we were going to buy, go to someone's home and listen to the songs over and over again.

At age 12 I formed my first "band", 4 singers and 2 acoustic guitars, and we played folk covers at schools and churches. At 14 I was going solo, too young for the bars, but playing wherever anyone would listen. I also became interested in the theatre, (a stage for all ages) and since performing came naturally to me, acting became a strong interest. In my 20's I turned off popular music and tuned in to classical works, I listened to everything I could find from JS Bach to Mahler. I bought a piano, and studied music with some great teachers, music theory, composition, piano and voice. Music lived deeply in me, but it didn't become clear until I was in my 30's that I was ready, and willing, to write my own songs.

My journey to record the demo songs on this CD began many times, but there is a specific moment when everything changed, and I credit that change to a dear friend and constant mentor, Anne Millyard. Over tea she listened to me lamenting that I all I really wanted to do with my life was write songs, and I couldn't be honest with my husband because he would just laugh at me. She asked me if I'd tried to play my songs for Andy and I replied of course not, he would never be able to take me seriously and listen. And she looked me in the eye and said, "Linda, you must make him listen. Go right now, this minute, sit him down, pick up your guitar, and make him listen." And she made me promise. So I did. I sat him down and made him listen. And he did. And then he picked up his guitar and said, maybe it would be cool if you gave it this feel." So we cleared out a space in the attic of our home, and when all the kids were asleep, we went into the attic and worked on our songs. Of course, we had so much fun, we decided we wanted to share the songs with other people, and we played some shows and eventually recorded enough songs to make this CD. We created loops on a rented Dr Drum for the drum tracks, and Andy figured out bass lines to add to those. All the vocals were recorded through Sure mics, and the guitars direct into the Roland VS 1680. It was a sweet voyage of discovery. I have friends who still prefer many of the songs on the demo to the versions on Betty's Room. I love them all no matter what version they are.





Forgiven
© Mandolin Songs 2002 (SOCAN)

I am holding out may hands,
Stop me if you can
Everything we fought about has fallen
And now all we have is here where we stand
And all we can be I hear in the end

You can see the wind blow when she bends the trees
Moves so silent, closer when we breathe
All I have is here in my hands and with all I am and with all I am

I will, I will, forgive this
I will. I will forgive this

I am holding out my hands,
Help me if you can
Everything we fought about is gone
And now all we have is here where we stand
And with all we can be, and with all I am

I will, I will, forgive this
I will, I will, forgive this ...

(Eric Satie wrote a powerfully haunting opening and this was used in the bridge scenes of Mike Leighs film . I was haunted by the melody, the monotonous mournful repetition of the melody and I used this, I found the chords on the piano and played it over and over til the words to this song began to emerge. The lyrics were written very quickly. I felt it was a powerful message and it was one of the first songs I ever played live, solo, at an open mic in Toronto (Free Times Caf , way back in 2000.) I used an electric guitar, to give each note longevity. The longitude an organ can give. Andy suggested I offer an uplifting chorus to balance the somber quality of the song. I recorded a version of the song with that chorus on my demo CD. It s lovely, but I ve never been happy with that choice, it felt like a departure from the authentic inspiration for the song. Like a cop out really. I m not uncomfortable with the sad or dense nature of the song. To me it is a true catharsis. This is really one of my favourite songs to perform, on guitar or piano. )


Run To You
by Andy McLean and Linda McLean
© Mandolin Songs 2002 (SOCAN)

She sits like a tall tin soldier
He looks across the sky
Waiting to keep the appointment
Leaving again so soon
Leave you in all that quiet standing alone at the door
Keeping it open or closed
You can't decide anymore

They'll run to you, one day, in time
And they'll know how you love them

Isn't it just like you planned it
Hanging around with the pain
Waiting for something to tell you you'll never let them go again
Remember teh chalk white circle, either way you lose
So hold the glass in your hand and smile and drink what you choose

They'll run to you one day in time
And they'll know how you love them
They'll run to you
One moment it will all come clear and they'll know how hard you loved them
To let them go, to let them go, you let them go, you let them go

But they'll run to you one day in time ...

Holding on til they come home
Holding on while you're alone
Holding on until they see how hard you loved them to set them free ...



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