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Meryl Streep Portrait in Grey

This song was composed as title theme for a film written and directed by my dear friend Deanna K. Pigg. The project was a sort of semi-autobiographical tone poem realized on 16mm monochrome film stock.

Besides writing and directing, Deanna also performed in the role of the film's lead character. (FYI: Yeah, she looked great on the screen. And, yeah, you'd be justified in wondering whether I might be a bit biased in my assessment of my friend. But it's not just me. I swear to God there have been times when others who have seen my copy of "Portrait" ask something like, "Wow, dude, is that Meryl Streep!?" And, "Oh, yeah," I think, "she does look like a young Meryl Streep there, doesn't she?" Cool, huh?)

I sorta wrote the song for "Portrait" on spec. I had just finished writing a song for one of my own projects a mixed-media, animated film called "Funky Closet Freak Blues." So that same afternoon, as soon as I got a rough-cut of "Freak" to tape, I was inspired to try to capture part of the essence of "Portrait" in song.

After I came up with what follows below, I dialed up Deanna and I performed the song for her over the phone. Then when the song was done, I picked up the handset to hear her response. Silence. "Ah-oh," I thought, "maybe she hates it." Then I heard some sniffling through the receiver. "Jeez," I thought, "she's crying. She really hates it." Then she spoke. She loved it, she said. She really loved it. And this was an unexpected happy-weepy moment for her. (Chicks! Go figure.)

So the song would be an acceptable element for Deanna's film. Cool. Our old buddy Don "Donnie Wayne" Morris and I recorded the track in Studio B of the WISU-FM production facilities at ISU. Hotcha!

Besides writing the title theme, I did some of the camerawork and provided other production assistance for the "Portrait" project. (Always enjoy working with DKP.)

By the way, the spelling of the word "Grey" with the less-common-but-still- acceptable "ey" instead of "ay" was Deanna's artistic choice.

Read the lyrics below, check out the Lead Sheet for words and music, or listen to a homemade MP3 song demo recording. BD

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Portrait in Grey
Title Theme for a Film by Deanna K. Pigg
Words and Music by David R. Lister

When we moved in together
I never thought I'd ever leave
But now it seems so essential
To seek some swift reprieve
All the changes I've been going through
You never understood
So now I'm going my way
Perhaps the change will do us good

The reason for my leaving
Is there's no reason left to stay
No use to talk it over
There's so little left to say
And it's not that I don't love you
I just have to break away
Before I break down
Watching our portrait turn to grey

I know I'd break down
Watching our portrait turn to grey


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2001-2012 David R. Lister • All Rights Reserved.