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"Losing Things" took me 30 years and 30 minutes to write. I watched my maternal grandfather slowly lose his memory and thus, his identity, to Alzheimer's disease. We all watched him go. Like a slow-motion waltz into the abyss of the world's last sunset.
I thought about his increased disconnection to reality - and more accurately - his inability to distinguish past events from real time occurrences - and I wondered if the best version of ourselves is comprised of a well organized and managed record of all that has come before us? If we are at peace with our past - good or bad - are we whole?
As my grandfather slowly lost things - memories, recognition of loved ones, and even pieces of his personality - all we could do is watch. His wife cared for him until his last breaths, prying dignity away from the eager claws of the reaper, until his spirit was free, walking into the open green fields where his dreams had been leading him.
This song is dedicated to Lester Vincent Ericson (1919-1990), the man who knew too much.
He went to the field not sure what to do
since the plane went down, Christmas Eve in Peru
he’d come undone the work bell rings
he’s getting tired of losing things
He didn’t know what hit him, so easy to upset
faces and names, so easy to forget
sitting at the piano, the broken record sings
this one’s called ‘Losing Things’
They drove downtown and I went with
the doctor said it’s part of it
losing things is a part of life
still that doesn’t make it right
He tells me his dreams, his memories too
gotta get ‘em out, there’s nothing left to do
he knows they’ll be gone on tomorrow’s wings
he’s getting pretty good at losing things
The farm, the chains the tractor too
he can’t recall what he’s supposed to do
frets for the safety of his youngest kin
we all watch him losing things
In the basement dark, away from it all
she holds his hand, as he faces the wall
she’s lost before, she questions the King
why do we keep losing things?
from Losing Things,
track released September 13, 2019
Mark Schirmacher - vocals, acoustic guitar, whistling
Michael McGarthwaite - electric guitar
Kelley Lima - drums, percussion
Glenn Olson - bass
Recorded at Winterland Studios, Minneapolis, Minnesota
November 2018 - March 2019
Produced by Christian Andrews and Mark Schirmacher
Recorded, Engineered, and Mixed by Christian Andrews
Assistant Engineering by Zachary Schilling and Kosh
Mastered by Bruce Templeton at Microphonic Mastering, Minneapolis, Minnesota