Winter Song is a track written and performed by both Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, who happen to be two of my favorite artists of all time. The two performed the song live for President Obama at the White House Tree Lighting ceremony and released it on the album, The Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs in 2008. The most intriguing and unique aspect of Winter Song is the beautiful combination of two incredibly talented vocalists. The arrangement of their harmonies is so subtle, yet so profound.
The entire song demonstrates imagery of nature in its writing, creating visions of the sea, the snow, and the night. “This is my winter song to you. The storm is coming soon, it rolls in from the sea. My voice a beacon in the night. My words will be your light to carry you to me.” The song serves as a guide to someone; to show them the light even in times of darkness.
"This is my winter song. December never felt so wrong 'cause you're not where you belong… inside my arms.” The lyrics can be literal or metaphorical. Literally, it could be a physical difference between them during the month of December. But it could also represent separation on an emotional level, in a time when love cannot grow from the never ending cold and darkness. The last line represents the entire theme of the song: when someone makes such a profound impact on your life and suddenly withdraws, you are left feeling like a puzzle missing one piece. Incomplete and unfulfilled. December has never felt so wrong because she is missing a part of her life that has been present until that point. And that absence cannot be overlooked.
But in the midst of all this sadness, Sara and Ingrid incorporate a positive message into Winter Song, a message of hope and optimism. “I still believe in summer days. The seasons always change and life will find a way.” The seasons always change. Their relationship is not doomed to a never ending winter. Summer, with all its light and joy, will always come eventually, if they are patient enough to keep trying and persevere in making their relationship work. Life will find a way. Life will always find a way if they give it the time that it needs. In short, the winter is not eternal. One only has to continue seeking happiness to reach it.
Is love alive?
Waiting To See is the seventh track off Sara’s first ever collection of music, The First One. She also performed Waiting To See by herself on piano for the UCLA Spring Sing competition, which she won twice. On The First One, the recording is obviously live. I really hope that someday Sara records this track in a studio, because I love this song so much and hear a lot of potential in it. If I were ever to cover and produce a song by Sara, it would be this one.
"Waiting to see if I can breathe you in, if you’ll let me out of this caged up soul that I’ve created that surrounds me now, if there’s truth inside you or a demon in me. If you ask me what I’m waiting for… I’m waiting to see.” In this song, the meaning is quite literal - Sara is waiting to see if she wants to commit to someone. She’s still unsure, and she wants to be certain before she decides. She’s hesitant and is holding herself back. While this theme may sound pretty simple or cliche, the words that she uses to capture her emotions are what sets Waiting To See apart. “The darkness of these starlit skies sets down upon my tired eyes and I’m waiting for the last uncertainty.” Let’s all keep in mind that she was still in college when she wrote The First One, and was brave enough to play her own compositions in front of hundreds of peers at the UCLA Spring Sing. Yet another demonstration of Sara’s talent and confidence at so young an age.
Waiting to see what I might be if released from chains that bind me from within. But I’m holding out from feelings of doubt that capture my release. I’m waiting for peace.