Episode 251

Published on:

4th Dec 2022

A Kaleidoscope Heart Christmas Card to My Friends and Listeners 2022 with Bruce Hilliard

Hey to all the Better Each Day Listeners, this is Bruce and welcome to episode 251. Welcome to the show but most importantly welcome to the first annual year end Christmas party where we feature a special theme.

Now keep in mind that I am, and apparently always will be, a hopeless romantic love song writing fool. One thing we can all agree on is that some songs just need to be written. And some people need to be written about.

This year the vote was unanimous to introduce some songs you may have heard on previous shows, songs that were inspired by friends. The friends I speak of are sisters Freya and Annie. They are the stars of the show. 

Now, I wrote, produced and performed everything you’re hearing but it wouldn’t be happening without someone to write about and an audience.

Just to set the scene, I met Freya and Annie at the local YMCA almost five years ago. They’re happily married with kids but while we’re at the Y we are all kids. 

When I see them it's in a noisy environment full of competition for their attention. Sometimes I’ll squeeze in for a chat and hear a story that leads to a song like this one.

Roses and Strawberry Rain was inspired by my friend Annie, now grown and a mother of two, who played with Little Ponies…the toy Little Ponies. So I did my best to capture a story about a little girl playing pretend with her hero and champion race horse, Strawberry Rain. Rain wins the roses at the Kentucky Derby, the rain washes time away and years later she tells her children about her legendary story of…Roses and Strawberry Rain.

Annie’s older sister Freya, who like Annie, is the warmest of warm people. Going nose to nose with Annie’s miraculous ability to jump rope and defy gravity, Freya, who has super powers also, saw the crappy clothes I wore when I performed…my ragamuffin clothes weren’t hittin’ it and she went into her rescue mode to save my sorry ass. Freya took me by the wrist and we went clothes shopping. And she organized a photo shoot with Annie as part of Operation Dress Bruce for new promo pics.

One of the new promo images created by Annie was the result of a filter that, I don’t know if it was intentional or not, formed several images of my head in the shape of a heart. It looked like a kaleidoscope version of a heart with me in my Freya shirt.

Sometimes something is said in the morning workout that rings in my head and becomes a lyric. In this case it was a scenario where Annie stopped me briefly during our morning ant farm gym jam to tell me a quick Annie happy word about nothing in particular…to which I smiled and looked blankly at her. She responded, “that’s all I got.” 

I turned, walked away and looked back. I thought “That’s all I got?” Other than stand ups, who says “that’s all I got?” I turned to see her waiting for me with a goofy smile.

That’s all I got? Sometimes we end a conversation with “that’s all I got”...or even end a sentence.

I used color names from Home Depot paint for this “xanadu, limousine leather and melody” list of paint color names. “Comfort words and hearts and rainbows in my feed, that’s all I need.” 

Annie introduced me to her mother Kerri at the gym one morning about three years ago. It was hugely apparent where some of Annie and Freya’s magic came from.

My little song Kerri is about a small town girl meeting a small town boy, on bicycles, on a sunny summer day and Kerri announcing to the world “someday I’ll marry that boy.” If it sounds like it could be a true story, it is. Well 50 years and 6 children later…Kerri and Dad are still a small town girl and a small town boy.

Combine Kerri, Freya and Annie, put them in a blender and voila, a song, the Sweetest Thing I’ve Ever Known. It’s a semi-autobiographical story about a man that’s trying to get by day to day with only his music. He shows up for jobs, life and to the world with only his music. Since no one is hiring he wanders from town to town looking for work and maybe a place to belong…a safe harbor. The candy shop reference is about Annie’s bubble gum and the dancing across the floor is my favorite rock ballerina Freya. With only one song I come a-wanderin’ for you. Is a song even considered wealth? Depends on who’s listening. The song is called Sweetest Thing I’ve Ever Known.

I’m grateful everyday to have what I have, live where I live and know who I know. Maybe this is as good as it gets! I’m a lucky guy just to know ya.

This next song has about 15 of my voices in the All Bruce Sha-La-La Choir. The song is about Freya sleeping and dreaming. I needed to edit some of her dream lyrics because she has really weird dreams. The song is also about the dreams and visions we all have, and need to know when to let go or hold on with everything you got.

Another Freya song here. She told me her favorite color was navy blue. Without ending up with a Village People Naval cover, I associated navy blue with the color of her van and better yet, her blue jeans.

The song has her catching a limo at the beginning and later, the last verse, she’s cruisin’ the Alderwood Mall Parkway in the van I know and love. And guess what. Dressed in Blue Jeans.

The stream of consciousness and flat brilliant weirdness at the morning gym is a beautiful thing and it’s not uncommon for something that’s said in the morning pops into my monkey brain later in the day and makes me laugh out loud…when I shouldn’t.

This is a Christmas song that sort of a One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest white coat Christmas. The subject is being committed to home for the wacksters because he believes in Santa Claus…and giving. The lyrics were a stream of conscious freestyle and fit this guy that dares to run run Rudolph.

So, I’m finding out the very most important things in life, the really good stuff is free and needs to be loved and nurtured. I hope you enjoyed the stories, the tunes and my optimistic vision. That's all I got.

Merry Christmas 2022.

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About the Podcast

Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show with Bruce Hilliard
Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better.--Emile Coue
This is a platform, a stage for singers, songwriters and the creative to share their work, backstories and positive words.
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Bruce Hilliard

Born in Seattle, raised in Aberdeen WA, Bruce Hilliard is a singer, guitarist and songwriter with a song list influenced mostly by pop/folk rock of the 60s-80s. He has been an opener for Heart, the Ramones, Dr. Hook, Wishbone Ash and Eric Burdon.
Early in his career Bruce completed Bachelor Degrees in Music and Journalism from Washington State University and, while never allowing a hiatus from performing and songwriting, joined corporate America in marketing and sales. That rocky road led him back to his passion and now records and performs live and with great appreciation to be back in his jam.
He currently resides in Mukilteo WA and hosts the Better Each Day Podcast Radio Show. His musician interview based show has featured recording artists including John Oates; Grand Funk Railroad’s frontman Mark Farner; Steve Fossen, bass player and co-founder of Heart; drummer Carmine Appice; and Dave Bickler, lead vocalist (Eye Of the Tiger) of Survivor. The weekly half hour show has over 181 episodes and is becoming a strong platform for musicians of all levels to showcase their music and their backstories.