Track-by-Track: William Fitzsimmons - The Sparrow and the Crow - Track-by-Track: Wiliiam Fitzsimmons - The Sparrow and the Crow

US singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons releases beautifully bleak new album The Sparrow and the Crow in the UK on 2 November, 2009, on Naim Edge.

The brutally honest record – which soared to the number one spot in the iTunes folk chart upon its release in the US – documents the break-up of William’s own marriage.

Here, the former psychotherapist takes us through his new album, explaining the story behind it and the inspirations behind each of the songs…

After Afterall
A reprisal from the finale of previous album Goodnight, this song is meant to serve as the musical, lyrical, and substantive connection between the story of our childhood, family of origin, and even heritage, and between the choice we make throughout our own lives. The song is ironically a closing piece, but in the context of the story being about endings, it is the only appropriate way to open the tale and introduce the characters.

I Don’t Feel It Anymore (Song Of The Sparrow)
A conversation between two birds, between the loyal and the unfaithful. It is a summary of the relationship and a foreboding of what is to come. It is the moment of revelation of infidelity and the preparation for the aftermath. The song contains the only dishonesty permitted on the record, the statement of ‘I don't feel it anymore,’ being said but not felt. It was a lie that happened, but was never the truth.

We Feel Alone
When depression finally set in. When the reality of the choices I made were revealed to me and the sickness of what I had become became perfectly clear. I found myself homeless, broke, alone, miserable, confused, devastated and had nowhere to go. This is based from the notion of death anxiety that we ultimately must face mortality with only ourselves. We enter the world and depart in the same fashion – with no-one but us. The ‘we’ is the awareness that while few openly admit to such fears, they are ever present in us all.

If You Would Come Back Home
A bargaining, a plea for return. Begging for all that was wrong to be rewritten and begun again. A child's wish for everything to return. The fantasy that such mistakes can be undone. The suspension of the reality that they never can.

Please Forgive Me (Song Of The Crow)
The crow's answer to the Sparrow's song. Owning up to one's true darkness. Confession of absolute wrong. Recognising not only the demons living inside, but the demon I have become. Begging for mercy at the hands of the one harmed.

Further From You
This song is about movement. I wrote this many months after the separation on the day I finally realised that no matter what happened, things between us would forever move in the direction of parting. Two parallel lines diverging in the distance. Our two lives, once joined, would become distinct and we would one day become strangers, unrecognisable to the people we were the day we first fell in love. The refrain contains the summation of all - ‘I was wrong’.

Just Not Each Other
The beginning of resignation – accepting new life as it can only be from this day forward. I would be hard-pressed to describe this as a song of hope, but I would also be unable to argue to the contrary. Here came a day when the only desire was for the well-being, happiness even, of the other. That happiness was ruined between us, and most likely could never have been returned. This is a wish for the joy of the one you were meant to provide it for alone; all the while knowing you will never be the one offering that joy.

Even Now
When you truly love someone, there will always be a part of your heart which keeps that love. This is a love song.

You Still Hurt Me
I never did, nor ever will, make any pretense about who was the wrongdoer in this story. I fell short, I destroyed what was once good, I alone hold responsibility for the breaking of this bond. But on the day she left, everything good in life was gone. The last ten years of life would now have to be understood in the context of a few horrible mistakes. That takes away none of my culpability and none of my blame. But it hurt worse than anything ever has before. And I should think it probably always will.

They’ll Never Take The Good Years
A song of commitment to never allow darkness to penetrate the deepest parts of memory. To remember what was good and honest from former days and never let them go. Our minds fade and we lose pieces of ourselves and others over time. Sometimes we have to fight that process with all we have.

Find Me To Forgive
This is about the moment I stood in front of an open 20th story window in New York and made my peace in preparation to jump. For whatever reason, I couldn't step out. But it was that moment when I realised everything I had done was wrong. I had never really had a full understanding of who I was before this day. And I had never realised how dark I had allowed my soul, heart, and mind to become. This song is about facing the abyss and letting it go.

Good Morning
A song of hope…

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