Bridge Street

One of the wonderful things about living in a town like Sackville is that the university community and the town community mesh together quite well. It’s a small town. I had the pleasure of getting to know Linda, James and Dylan through the Elastic Big Band experience and although we hadn’t shared a lot of musical ‘time’ they were all very generous and immediately agreed to help out on this recording. This speaks volumes about them and our community.

I’m often asked about the song Bridge Street. One warm September evening a few years ago, I closed my art gallery and started the short walk up the street to the main intersection. The Mount Allison students had just returned from summer break and the sidewalk was full of kids all talking and laughing. It was Open Mic night at the neighbouring café and music was pouring out the open door. It felt good and ‘very Sackville”.

I continued my stroll to the intersection and while waiting for the Walk Sign I glanced back down the street at the activity I’d just traveled through. There, in the middle of the street, just above the horizon line, overlooking the vibrant street scene, was a bright full moon beaming down on us all. Quiet, still and beautiful. I took some time to marvel at the randomness of it all and a thought passed through my mind… “I wonder what Joni Mitchell would do with a scene like this?” I went home and wrote the song.

While working on the arrangement I asked my friend Jim Code, a Mount Allison music professor, if he’d give it a listen and see if perhaps a trumpet might work into the song. Jim very generously wrote an entire horn section using trumpet, trombone and saxophone. I love how Jim brought the lyrics to life by writing some humour into the arrangement. Good work Jim, and thanks everyone!

Bridge Street (2006)

There’s a big full moon over Bridge Street
The kids crowd the sidewalk and tease
September farmers sleep in their beds
and flowers still bloom in the warm evening breeze

Well, the Café is full and it’s noisy
singing spills out on the street
Still no one is daring or dancing
they just haven’t found their own beat

Oh, the rhythm is strong and it works like a spell
Oh, we watch it as it weaves its delight
By the fat faced moon over Bridge Street
Oh, Joni – where are you tonight?

All around town the tide is rising
the flirting giggles crescend
then they dance on the banks of an unknown shoulder
alas another school year begins

But this old town can handle the flurry
These boys will become old men
The drunken sounds of a Friday night party
Will fade… but then it comes again

But it’s all new to them – our newly-found friends
While farmers dream deep in their sleep
The harvest moon watches over us all
And the secrets on Bridge Street we keep

Oh, the rhythm is strong and it works like a spell
Oh, we watch it as it weaves its delight
By the fat faced moon over Bridge Street
Oh, Joni – where are you tonight?

This little town’s hopping tonight!

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