“The Sacred Goof” is a new collection of twenty-four songs by Bryan Schwartz. The book version contains all the lyrics, each one accompanied by a sparkling original colour image by the illustrator Maren Amini. It can be enjoyed all on its own as a stand-alone work. Readers are encouraged to listen to the studio-produced album as well.
Bryan Schwartz’s first musical “Consoulation” was acclaimed by reviewers as “a great, great journey” “moving and powerful” and as “an ever-timely reminder of the healing power and comfort of art”. His new creation, “The Sacred Goof” will resonate with anyone who has wandered and wondered. Readers will want to return again and again to the humour and magic of its words, images and melodies. While “The Sacred Goof” is crystal clear at first encounter, it is nuanced and layered. Every word in it is chosen for a reason – often, for many reasons.
“The Sacred Goof” has an overall arc, but each song tells its own story in its own way. The album begins with “Con Bryo”, a playful instrumental that helps set the tone for the rest of the two dozen songs. “Come On In” about the potential triumph of hope over experience. “Man of Steel” is about learning things the hard way. “Chronic Vegetable State” is a surrealistic mix of melancholy and humor. “Moving on Down” proposes reversing evolution as a solution to the pain of sentience. “Bouncing Back” exuberantly celebrates resilience and determination, using physics as a metaphor. “Life is What Jamaic’of It,” describes a desire to escape from cold realities through the exercise of imagination.
“Mein Yiddishe Babbe” mixes English and Yiddish to discuss the speaker’s relationship with his Yiddish-speaking grandmother. “Any Thought” is an exquisitely concise and deeply moving reflection on a cascade that begins in a moment. “Broken Glass” describes a wedding tradition that symbolizes the fragility of life and the many ways we can interpret and reinterpret experience. “It’ll Be All Right” offers comfort from a stranger who has been there himself. “Gotta Write a Song” is a lighthearted ode to the process of songwriting. “Squirmin'” celebrates the joy of dancing and of silliness. “The Cheerful Song” ironically explores the power of music to transcend hard realities.
“Call and Response” celebrates music as a route to human connection. “Addlepated Penguin” expresses the joys of embracing one’s quirks and individuality. “Lyin’ Heart” is a sardonic study of the contrast between the mythology of King Richard Coeur de Lion and his brutal character. “Phoneblat” is a sardonically rocking send-up of a twisted bureaucrat. In “Old Fashioned Sailors” a group of apparent rustics overmatch another pretentious official. “Stomp on a Leprechaun” is a driving song about letting loose your frustrations ” “Seemed So Important About The Time” is about the mixed blessings of maturity. “This Moment’s All Right” is about forgetting regret and anxiety and instead embracing an instant. “Alexander” expresses a late-arriving sense of gratitude. “Shalom” is about the possibility of finally arriving at a time and place of peace.