Find a Songwriter Family

Over the last year my seeking has brought me home to a songwriter family who’s spiritual home is, at least the members who reside in Sydney, The Coogee Digger’s; Bunker Bar.

Overseeing and inspiring it all, a magnificent human who went by the name of Karl Broadie. What incredible gifts of wisdom, kindness and generosity he bestowed on us all. I say “was” because he recently left us.

But such a man does not leave quietly.
Songwriters and friends from all around made the pilgrimage to honour him and raise their voices to sing his wonderful songs.
On the eve of his death we were gathered at Rooty Hill RSL with the likes of Kasey Chambers, Adam Harvey, Catherine Britt, Brooke McClymont, Adam Eckersley, Luke O’Shea, Jasmine Rae, Harry Hookey, Katie Brianna, Caitlin Harnett, Adam Young and Den Hanrahan for a concert that was to be a benefit for him in his fight against Cancer. But instead we learned of his acceptance that any day now he expected to pass. He was preparing to leave and we were singing him out.

So many people fall to cancer but few people receive such a sent off, few are so very worthy.

And a strange thing has happened. The pain has turned to love and friendships, new collaborations a torrent of new songs inspired by his loss and by the tremendously sad love story of a sweetheart left behind.

Bird song is one of those songs. As I started writing I realised it was a song for Rachel, a song for her pain and the long road to healing. But there is one line in there that is for me;

“Hear my voice when you doubt yourself”

This line is inspired by a simple thing Karl said to me in his Scottish lilt one night after performing; “You’re a class act

A throw-away line but a gift I keep in a box with my precious belongings. It’s a weapon I regularly use now to fight off insecurity, a sense of unworthiness and negative voices in my head.

One of Karl’s most loved Albums was called “Black Crow Calling” and strangely after his death crows all over seemed to be acting out to draw attention to themselves. On the day of his death we gathered at the Bunker and many a bird story was told.

I will never look at a crow again without thinking of Karl Broadie.
I wonder if he knew my first EP was called Conversations With Crows?

Bird Song – Justine Wahlin © May 2016

Although I’m leaving I’m preparing for the road I’m talking with angels, I’m letting go
You can catch the trail of the comet I’m on gather up your voices we’ll sing the last song

Then you’ve got to be strong
You’ve got to live on anyway
You’ve got to be strong
You’ve got to live on anyway
Hear my voice when you doubt yourself

Where I’m going ,you can’t follow yet but I’ll leave a light on and I’ll drink to your health
I’ll hang my heart up here by the door and you can wear it in winter like you did before

Rain falls rivers run that’s the sound my love makes
Rain falls rivers run that’s the sound

So shine your bright eyes out to sea from your mountain home
Hear me call your name with my bird song

If you shut out all the noise you’ll hear the sound of my heart straight into yours
A lullaby to sooth you when you need it the most and if the twilight makes you sad let him hold you

Rain falls rivers run that’s the sound my love makes
Rain falls, rivers run that’s the sound

So shine your bright eyes out to sea from your mountain home
Hear me call your name with my bird song

And then you’ve got to be strong
you’ve got to live on anyway
you’ve got to be strong
you’ve got to live on anyway
Hear my voice when you doubt yourself
Hear my voice when you doubt yourself
Hear my voice when you doubt yourself