The best titles, whether they are created for books, or chapters within books, movies, or songs, are often miniature works of art. Tiny poems that are thought provoking or evocative. Eye catching and quirky, Ovenbird is exactly that. It’s also great to say: Ovenbird Ovenbird Ovenbird. When I first read the word, it was new to me, and I found it both familiar and strange, which is exactly what makes it a wonderful title for this understated love song by Patrick McCormack.
Back in ’08, when I moved away
Settled in well, but I was afraid
I mistook every slightest noise for knocks on my door
Good morning, again.
Soon found a job, but it had my time
Forgot my friends, had I lost my mind
I jumped the turnstiles just to get home, and I hadn’t a phone
Good morning, again.
I sang alone to you from stage
I’d do it all again today
I meant every word that I ever sang
And every chord I played
So leave me all wrinkled and lost in the sheets
Dreadful is the morning that takes you from me
Still got the same old mattress today, but you wont complain
Good morning, again.
As you can hear, Ovenbird is a sweet celebration of love written in triple meter and reminiscent of the late Elliott Smith. After Patrick McCormack uploaded the song to the Sirenstories SooundCloud I asked him to please share his inspiration for the tune. (Secretly I just wanted to know what the title meant — KIDDING. I love the song and wanted to know everything about it.)
“The lyrical inspiration for Ovenbird drew from the beginnings of my independent life. I was broke, jobless, and living in a new city (Chicago.) So there was quite a lot of stress, but rarely was I angry or miserable about it. I had a great partner every step of the way, and she’s the real meaning behind those lyrics. She was always at my side with a great positive energy; I think that’s what comes through on the instrumental bridge. Something as simple as waking up together really lessened the blow of my day-to-day.
“The title comes from a side project that my girlfriend (Katherine) and I were working on during that time period. She would illustrate a national bird, and I would make a corresponding instrumental song. Argentina’s national bird is The Red Ovenbird, and I had an instrumental track that later became the bridge of Ovenbird.”
Confession: Before Patrick McCormack joined the Sirenstories group and uploaded Ovenbird, I had heard the song before. Filmmaker Edward Burns who, in his words, “makes those small talky New York movies about the Irish guys from Long Island” ran a contest on SoundCloud to find a song for his work in progress, Newlyweds.
Usually singer songwriter PT Walkley writes the music for Ed Burns’ films, and he wrote the majority of the songs for Newlyweds. However Patrick McCormack‘s Ovenbird fits right in, as if he wrote it specifically for the movie. If I told you why Ovenbird works so perfectly in Newlyweds, I’d be dropping a spoiler, so watch the film for yourself and listen for Ovenbird. It’s perfectly placed.
I’m sure many more of Patrick McCormack‘s songs will be well placed. A multi instrumentalist and composer from Vermont, McCormack’s diverse, poppy songs, and instrumental pieces that are sometimes spare, sometimes spacious, make his music a great choice for film — indie and commercial. I urge you to explore his recordings by clicking on the covers below.
PS I also encourage you to check out Newlyweds. In Newlyweds, as in all of his movies, Edward Burns shows us familiar people with familiar traits in familiar relationships, and yet somehow, he gives us something completely fresh, funny, and profound. We know Burns’ characters, but they surprise us.
I watched Newlyweds by myself, but I didn’t feel alone. Maybe that’s because I saw my friends in the movie, or maybe because I saw myself. Ed Burns’ movies might be small, but they express universal truths, which is also a good description of Patrick McCormack‘s songs.
Please support original music and add to the buzz about Patrick McCormack‘s music by ‘liking’ his fb page. Thank you.