Friday, April 15, 2011


by Steven Lutvak
from The Time It Takes (2004)

I walk museums in search of my father,
Scrutinize the paintings and the patrons
With great care.
For I'm an expert on all the great museums,
And part of me is always hoping
He will be there.

He took me up all the marble stairways,
Let me hold his finger till I had grown.
And it was he who introduced me
To the wonders I would find there,
And later let me wander on alone.

See the brushwork so passionate and strong.
Do you feel the rhythm as your eye is moved along?
And look there, in the shadows,
How the colors subtly dim?
My father sees the painting,
And I am watching him.

An hour later, we'd start to leave the gallery,
Down the marble stairway the two of us would wind.
Returning to the street
And to our old familiar silence,
Leaving all the paintings far behind.

Feel the rustle of her ballgown
As she dances with the man who is her lover,
Feel the pressure of his hand.
And the moonlight pouring through the arbor
To the faces of the dancers,
And the whirling of the band.

See the garden, see the cafe,
You can almost hear the chatter,
And the glasses, and the flirting,
And the sighs.
See the laughter in the faces,
And the joy that rings forever
In the violet, and the longing,
In the eyes.

I walk museums in search of my father,
I look in all the paintings for the man I hardly knew.
Searching through the brushstrokes
In the paintings of the Masters.
Exactly as my father taught me to ...
Just as my father used to do.

See the violet in the shadows,
And the longing ...

A number of years ago, an online friend of mine, David, introduced me to a new composer-songwriter-performer, Steven Lutvak.  I've been a huge fan ever since.  His first album, The Time It Takes, contained three songs that touched me ... this one, "Museums," and "I'll Imagine You a Song," and "The House That I Grew Up In."  I wrote Lutvak almost immediately for sheet music to the three songs, and I got a wonderful personal note in reply complimenting my choice of songs from his album ... they were some of his favorites as well.  And I was beyond thrilled when he sent me the sheet music to all three.

I cried the first time I heard "Museums."  It speaks to my own unresolved issues with my father, who passed away in 1985 (I was only 24).  As a result, I've always been drawn to pieces that deal with the relationship between fathers and sons.  There is such poignancy in the relationship between the narrator and his father ... a father who only seems to be able to connect with his son when expressing his passion in paintings and museums, before returning to the "real world" with its "old familiar silence."  The most effective part of the lyric for me is the final line ... "and the longing."  It's paired with a final note that floats without resolution - you can actually hear the LONGING in the word.

1 comment:

  1. You've sparked my interest...I've GOT to hear this song :)