“Southern Cross and a Sparrow Tattoo”

I’ve decided to take on songs from Songs In A Suitcase and tell you a little bit about them. Starting with one of my favorites from the album and a song I’ve entered into the International Songwriting Competition for 2012! I entered the competition a few years back with the first song I ever wrote, “Drive”, in the Teen category and received an honorable mention. This time I’m back with the big boys for the AAA Category and I’m hopeful with the amount of imagery the song uses.

So about the song:

I wrote this tune about the time I spent in 2011 in Australia and New Zealand with a little bit of Nautical folklore mixed in as well. The song’s title mentions the Southern Cross, a constellation viewable in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m a huge astronomy and science nerd so to see the Southern Cross for the first time was a cornerstone in my life.

The second part of the title about the sparrow tattoo I wrote about my own sparrow tattoo. Form my research sailers would get a sparrow tattoo for every 5,000 miles they had travelled because sparrows travel far in their lifetime but always are able to find their way home. I got mine before heading out and working on ships (and it’s always brought me back home!)

I started writing this song on the flight back from Australia (my fiance and I made a stop in Hawaii as well for a few days) and I don’t know about you but I cannot sleep on a plane to save my life. It just started to come to me on the plane while I was looking out the window onto the night sky and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. One verse talks about the a “red sunrise over the Pacific” that we followed on the plane for about 3 hours. The sun just seemed to hover over the horizon in a red glow. It was gorgeous. Later upon landing in Honolulu International Airport I saw a group of Humpback Whales breaching and playing in the surf. Lucky girl here 😉

I was very inspired by the sights of Australia and New Zealand as well and included a bit of those into the song. In Dunedin, New Zealand there is a huge colony of Royal Albatross on the Otago Peninsula as you sail out of the bay. Those birds are HUGE! And if you ever go there by ship don’t have lunch outside or they’ll steal your french fries!

After leaving the ship we had been on, my fiance and I stayed a few days in Sydney, Australia and visited the Blue Mountains just north of Sydney. It’s a beautiful site. A great mountain range where the mountains are blue because of the haze created by an abundance of Eucalyptus trees. The Blue Mountains is home to the “Three Sisters”, a rock formation formed by erosion  that carved three peaks onto the top of a mountain. It’s just near Katoomba (say it out loud! It’s so fun!)

So that’s “Southern Cross and a Sparrow Tattoo”, stay tuned in and join my mailing list for updates on the latest posts here on my blog. I’ll be following up with more stories behind the music.

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