Navigating the path of life involves figuring out who you are.  Part of the puzzle can be understanding where you come from - how you've acquired a certain feature, quirkiness or skill handed down from your relatives over generations.  Some of them you're able to wear naturally, with pride and others remain uncomfortable, never quite fitting in your skin.  Yet both are undeniably part of your DNA.  My wife Mary Ellen and I got talking about how what's handed down to us from our personal family and from simply being human is both "a blessing and a burden."  When I heard the phrase, I thought it could be a good song title, eventually flipping it around.  The musical idea came shortly thereafter while we were up at a family cottage. The song seemed to inhabit us for the next couple of days until it got to the point where it rang true.  I like the contrast between the tension in the verses and the open feel in the chorus teasing us with the possibility that the rainbow will show up.

You can contrast where I started with the song in the pre-production video below and then hear where the song ended up in its final production on the player above.

This track was the last one at the end of two long day sessions at Canterbury Music in Toronto in October 2012.  It took a bit to find the right groove but I loved the way Mark Mariash built his drum and percussion parts out and, with Drew Birston on bass, they laid down great bed tracks playing off the rhythm of my acoustic parts.  I could hear a fiddle working in this track and brought in James McKie who has played many gigs with me over the years.  His fiddle set the vibe beautifully off the top of the song almost taking you back to the old world and then Justin Abedin added some lovely companion mandolin playing off the fiddle part. In a way, the two were almost like the burdens & the blessings.  I had a final thought to add some piano and it seemed fitting to use an old upright Heintzman piano that had been in my wife's family since the 1930's.

Recorded at Canterbury Music in Toronto. Engineered by Jeremy Darby. Additional recording at Jeddart Music in Mississauga. Mixed by Chad Carlson at Hippo Sound in Nashville and Mastered by Hank Williams. Produced by Justin Abedin & David Leask. Lead, BG Vocals, Piano & Acoustic Guitar- David Leask, Mandolin & Electric Guitar - Justin Abedin, Fiddle - James McKie, Drums - Mark Mariash, Bass - Drew Birston,

Part of me's the enemy of love
With a history hidden in the blood
And it casts an ugly shadow
And follows me around and beats me up

Part of me's a prisoner of hope
A lifer with a lifeline of rope
And no matter what I'm facing
It's amazing how it keeps this heart afloat and I know

When the rain is pouring, the sun keeps shining
And the rainbows still turn up
So weigh me down and raise me up
With the burdens and the blessings of love

All of me is all I'll ever need
A doubter who is able to believe
An enemy befriended
And a prisoner who knows he's free, that's me

When the rain is pouring, the sun keeps shining
And the rainbows still turn up
So weigh me down and raise me up
With the burdens and the blessings of love

I know it's true and I'll be alright
Let it all shine through and I'll learn to live with
The burdens and the blessings of love

Written by David Leask & Mary Ellen Beatty
Published by Songs In The Air © 2012