Songs for my Daughters – MUSIC

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Talent and virtuosity. Black and white top view image of man playing piano

“I love the fluidity, the linear nature of the instrument, and the rich dynamics unique to those 88 keys that can fill up a room or great hall as a solo instrument in a way nothing else seems to do.”

by Matt Kersh

Fatherhood isn’t something with which I have yet had the privilege to gain a lot of experience. Though, it is someone I have been for over 12 years now. In 2011, I was blessed to have my own daughter, but with life seeming to crumble around me, I was methodically shut out of my little girl’s life over the course of the next couple of years. That angel is in my heart every day, regardless of the fact that I have been denied the rightful role of daddy in her life. Nevertheless, I trust that God will work things together for the good of our relationship and redeem the years that have been lost.

Speaking of redemption, fast forward a dozen trips around the sun, and God has made (quite literally) all things new in and around me. I am quickly approaching five years of sobriety, my music is blessed, and I am married to a beautiful, kind, and understanding woman that sees me for who I really am and loves me mind, body, and soul. And most importantly, I am alive spiritually in ways I’ve never been before.

Just yesterday, I sat down on my piano and played for a little while. Being that I perform exclusively with guitar, or at least have for the last decade, the keys have not been a place I have spent a great deal of time for quite a number of years, despite being my first instrument. The piano is where I began to see and feel the music coming from my hands for the first time a little over 30 years ago. I love the fluidity, the linear nature of the instrument, and the rich dynamics unique to those 88 keys that can fill up a room or great hall as a solo instrument in a way nothing else seems to do.

Sitting there last night, I was freshly reminded how playing opens the door to emote in a cathartic way that I need. Whether you know me personally or have been a reader of this column for any length of time, it will come as no surprise when I say that I am an emotional person, especially for a man. There are times that reality has gotten me in a bit of trouble, but, by and large, it is a trait I feel is a gift for (and to) me.

In just a handful of weeks, my wife and I will be welcoming our first daughter, Shiloh Quinn. When Courtnay surprised me with a pink beanie a handful of months ago which communicated we were having a little girl, it was one of the sweetest moments of my life. I’ve always deeply desired to be a “girl daddy,” and to actually get to do so on a daily basis is a joy I cannot truly grasp as of yet. With Shiloh’s impending arrival, that dream will be a reality, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

One of my original songs of which I am most proud is called, “Savannah’s Song,” named after my firstborn. As much as it is painful, I wrote that song a little over ten years ago operating under the notion that things were not going to go the route they “should” in terms of the relationship between me and her. Unfortunately, I was right. One day, she will hear that song and know the love I felt/feel for her and still be able to glean from my father’s heart for her. For Shiloh, that song can serve the same purpose. And that which was written for a sister twelve years her senior will be for her in all the same ways a guide for living and loving well. 

Savannah’s Song 

“Life will break you, take the 

wind from your sails

Attempt to crush you, leave 

you alone by yourself

But I won’t leave you, just know 

I’ll be here by your side

When hearts are breaking, 

your youth is taken in stride

Look into my eyes and see my soul

Trust my words and know I’ll never go

For there is love that will not fail

So, toss your coin into this well

And wish, and hope, and dream

Love won’t leave you, and if 

it does it’s not real

‘Cause love’s not easy, 

it’s so much more than a feeling

But when you find it, fight for

 it with all that you can

For love is magic, and tragic, and 

it makes you more than a man

Look into my eyes and see my soul

Trust my words and know I’ll never go

For there is love that will not fail

And toss your coin into this well

And wish, and hope, and dream

And wish, and hope, and dream

Its been said to love another person,

 is to see the face of God

And I know this to be certain, 

for all my pain and all my loss

‘Cause I feel it in your laughter, 

and I hear it in your voice

And no matter what comes after this, 

you will always be my choice

For the greatest form of anchor 

for this wandering heart of mine

Is acceptance in my darkness, 

so I can walk into the light

For I, I would die in your arms

I would die, I would die in your arms

For you, you will live in my heart

And you, you’re alive in my heart

So, wish, and hope, and dream

So, wish, would you hope, 

would you dream with me

Oh, may we wish, may we hope, 

may we dream”

My desire is to be a good, good father. Just like God has been to me. Or as least the very best that I can be. What an honor it is to be blessed with children to love and raise love well. I pray I can live up to my expectations.

Those words in my song aren’t just for my daughters, but for everyone. No matter what life throws at us to break our spirits, there is room to wish, and hope, and dream. And even beyond that, there is (literally) all the room in the world to live. And may we really live. All of us.

soundcloud.com/Matt-Kersh/savannahs-song

Photo Credit: Meredith McCann Photography