"The Horse Latitudes" - J. Schnitt
"Horse Latitudes" I started off wanting to write a song that attempted to capture our collective state of emotions, uncertainty, and also hope. And maybe comment on our current situation as best I could, as Ive always found songwriting is the one way I know I can communicate with the world. In trying to process the present, the song took me somewhere else, as they usually do, namely, the past. Along the same parallel as the Sahara Desert, lies a section of the ocean named by 16th and 17th century sailors, the Horse Latitudes, where the winds practically stop and the air is dry and there are no clouds to shield the sun, and if caught in this section of sea, your ship would be stranded for days, or weeks, or months, waiting for a gust of wind to take you on your journey. So-called the Horse Latitudes because the sailors would be forced to toss their valuable horses overboard to conserve water and food. A terrible and brutal sacrifice. So as we face together now an uncertain future. As the ground we walk on remains unstable. As we make our own untold sacrifices for the good of each other. And as we wait for the sails to billow again on this big old ship. Its important to remember we will get through this. And to bring these struggles and tragedies and triumphs with us into the future, so we can learn from them, so we might recognize our strengths, and acknowledge our weaknesses. So that when the winds do pick up, we might go into the uncertain future with kindness, compassion, and mercy. Thanks to Palmer Avery for the piano, Gina Holsopple for the harmonies from afar, And Matt Wagner for again lending his genius to the mix and making me sound like I know what Im doing. Keep safe everyone. Miss You.
Good Old Days
"It's a Folk Singer's job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people.” – Woody Guthrie Sometimes you just have to let it out. Anger has certainly shown up in my songs before. But in addressing it through my music, as I often do with any emotion being written about, it is often put in a context of metaphor, or humor, or clever wordplay, or poetry. And that is often the best way to get to the heart of what it is, and reveal truths about the human existence we might not otherwise understand. One of many reasons art is so important. This is not one of those songs. As cathartic as this song was to do personally, I hope it provides at least a little of the same to those of my generation, and the generations after me, feeling similar things. And I know there's a lot of you. Not everyone will like this song. Some may outright hate the things being talked about. But sometimes you just have to let it out, and where better to place it than in a song? Thank you to Gina Holsopple, Ian Bellasai, Matt Klausner, and Matt Wagner for your time, immense talents, and friendship.