Bloomsday

Well, at last, after the eternity of nearly two months without him, my BBC 6 Music mainstay Guy Garvey is back in the chair for his Sunday program, Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour. Frequent visitors to this blog will know I savour Garvey’s program with its banter, visitor segments and musical selections, as well as the Song-for-Guy recommendations he features.

An artist Garvey first featured over a year ago is singer-songwriter Samantha Crain of Oklahoma, USA. As I tell in my February 24, 2020 post on her stunningly brilliant song “An Echo,” Sweety and I witnessed Crain perform when a Winnipeg, Canada treasure Scott Nolan brought Crain to town. They shared the playbill for a staggeringly beautiful concert at The Park Theatre.

On Garvey’s triumphant return this past Sunday, he again featured Crain, this time with a new song of hers, “Bloomsday.” Serendipitously, this new piece popped up on my YouTube feed today. It is one of two tracks that are already available from her upcoming EP, I Guess We Live Here Now, which she’ll release on April 9.

At first, I wondered if the song title was a homage to Irish author James Joyce (1882-1941), though my knowledge of him is so sparse I coudn’t tell if there was any relevance in the lyrics. (Bloomsday, which falls on June 16, is the day in 1904 chronicled in Joyce’s novel Ulysses (1922) and named after the book’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom.)

Thankfully, Crain writes on the Bandcamp page for the track, “This song is an anthem of sorts about the possibility of each new, seemingly meandering and unimportant day. I use the reference to Bloomsday, born from James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” as a substitute for any day, just a normal, nothing special, any day. The song is meant to inspire the agency we have over our participation in any day. Although it feels like much of the time we are being pulled along in life, we have the instrumentality to find within us light and belief.”

With its use of the familiar refrain from the famous Gospel song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,” the song has a beautiful positivity about it, tempered with some light commentary on some of the shadow side of our society. Crain sings in a higher register and then drops low with wonderful effect. And the video, also directed by Crain, is lovely in depicting the mysterious unfolding of a twilight celebration.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy. And if you like the song, please pre-purchase the EP from Crain’s Bandcamp album page from USD 4.00 and up. You will not be disappointed.

Here’s the video for the song from Samantha Crain’s official YouTube channel, where she posted official lyrics in the notes section of the video post:

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