Lanterns

from by Tariq

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about

I started writing this song while thinking about my mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015. After visiting her one day in the Alzheimer’s care facility, I drove away with a sick sadness in my stomach verging on anger—why should she have to endure this cruel disease? What did she do to deserve this? I thought about how my mother used to paint, and sing, and tell silly jokes and how she raised us well on spicy curries, and funny stories, and how she can barely speak now. My sister and nieces and I will often take our ukuleles with us when we go and visit her. We’ll sit on the edge of her bed and run through a roster of songs that our mum has always liked—“Isa Lei” (a Fijian song), “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Que Sera Sera,” and a bunch more. Sometimes her eyes strain to open as she listens to us play and sing, and I can tell that she hears us. I’ll see tears rolling down her cheek and I’ll wonder if she is indeed crying at the sound of our voices or if perhaps it’s just her sleepy eyes watering. I can’t imagine what having Alzheimer’s is like, though I sense that when we’re there sometimes, she might be trying to navigate through the dark spaces, trying to find us, to connect with us as we sit a mere two feet away from her. I imagine it must be hard for her, if not frustrating, and sometimes I wish that I could hang a light high in all that darkness so that she might see it and find her way back to us.

lyrics

Teach me how to sing it. Decode all the notes. Read the restaurant fortune cookie you keep in your coat. Play me songs that always end in minor chords on the night before the darkness crucifies my words.

Hang your lanterns in the sky, sweep away the ashes of a burned out August moon. Hang your lanterns in the sky and help me to remember my way back home to you.

Through the alleys past garages with peeling paint I hear the subway through the sidewalk screaming through the grates.There’s nothing on TV, I guess I’ll go to bed and pray I recognize the ceiling when I raise my head.

Hang your lanterns in the sky, sweep away the ashes of a burned out August moon. Hang your lanterns in the sky and help me to remember my way back home to you.

In the dead of night hold up a candle to your face. Let the liquid light pour into every last embrace. And as I blow into my hands then role the dice, it’s the final question if I’m going to get it right.

credits

from Telegrams, released March 29, 2019
Composers: Tariq Hussain

Performers: 
Tariq--vocals, guitar
Sam Davidson--keys/synths, woodwinds
Skye Brooks--drums
John Walsh—bass
Micajah Sturgess—french horn
Jesse Zubot—strings

Studio--Afterlife (Vancouver, BC)

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about

Tariq Vancouver, British Columbia

Tariq is a Juno nominated singer/songwriter & recording artist. He releases music as himself and w/ the critically acclaimed band, Brasstronaut.

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