Brown Eyes Softly

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Since I began my professional career (in 1981), I’ve written a poem for Christmas.

Because I’ve had associates who have now become friends and family with me over the years, I continued until 2007 the tradition of writing a poem which I would read each year at the Christmas party.

2007 was a difficult year for us. It started somewhere towards the latter part of 2007 and it created an environment when, in a very long time, I had no choice but to do a major layoff. I didn’t realize at the time that it was a sign of times to come. I just simply saw it as something that we were suffering as a company, not something that was endemic to the economy as a whole.

I took it personally and suffered it immensely.

The Christmas party of 2007 was very painful.

There was no possibility I could have written the types of poems I had written in the past and there was also no possibility I could have articulated anything in front of a group of several hundred people to whom I was so very attached.

I had started taking piano lessons about a year before (primarily because I needed to do that to make sure my two sons continued to take their piano lessons), so I used that as an opportunity to write, for the very first time, not a poem, but some music.

The music had words, but the words had nothing to do with what I was experiencing with my company and with what I was seeing as the loss of so many people with whom I had maintained such a close relationship.

The music for Brown Eyes Softly represents the pain I experienced and wanted to share with my company. The lyrics, unpublished, represent the pain I never shared when I lost my father a number of years ago.

I’m publishing the music, for the very first time, and hope that for those of you musically inclined, you’ll do a far better job playing it than I could ever do.


Original writing date: 07/20/09

Music composed: 12/07