”Together May We Stay” Live at Rose Street

OK, so this song got me my wife.*

(Note: My introduction’s a little long, so move the video’s time slider to 1:04 if you’d like just to cut to the chase.)

I could (will?) probably write a song or two just about the whole process by which I finally decided to propose to Kit; for the purposes of this story, all you have to know is that she and I had been living together for a year, and I just knew it was time to propose. (I admit that writing a song for her wasn’t the first proposal method that came to mind, but once the idea was in place, I knew what I had to do.)

The problem was logistics. We were living together, and we were both working full-time, so there was no way I could take a few nights to compose this thing with my then-girlfriend in earshot.

K: “What’s that you’re doing? Is that a PROPOSAL SONG?!?”
N: “What gives you THAT idea? It’s, uh…ironic. Yeah. Post-modern.”

No, I had to do it during the day. So I planned for this day in late February when I was sure I could work on the thing all day long in peace, and then, just a few days before, I remembered that, since Kit was a teacher and had February break at the same time, she would be home during the day, not at work.

But I was undeterred. I knew I didn’t want to wait much longer to propose, and I was fairly confident I could pound the thing out in a day. So I rented a rehearsal space** for the day and told Kit nothing, i.e., she thought I was at work.

Luckily, I had a pretty clear idea of the music when I went in, so the hard part –per yoozsh– was words. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being straightforward and writing something as simple as, “I love you, please marry me”…unless you’re me and want to try to write a proposal song without either of those.

So, motivated by true love and an hourly rate for the rehearsal space, I sat all alone in the corner of this big ol’ room where normally Burlington bands like Wide Wail or The Pants might have practiced, and, with my keyboard and guitar at hand, I completed my assignment.

Then, the hard part: Playing it for Kit. I forget how I glossed over the fact that, to her knowledge, I’d schlepped music instruments to work and was now bringing them back home in the evening as if it were an everyday thing, but apparently it didn’t arouse any suspicion. I set everything back up in my office, and then, that evening, asked her to come check out this new song I had just written. I sat at a keyboard, lyric sheet in front of me, and I performed “Together May We Stay” for its most important audience.

If you ask Kit about it, she’ll tell you how, once I stopped playing, she was fairly frozen in place because, well…what if she had just misinterpreted my song and told me, “I do”, and then had to suffer instant mortification as I recoiled, saying, “No no no, you’ve got it all wrong: It’s just a song, dude…” Luckily, I had a fallback: the engagement ring. As soon as the song was over, I reached over to where I’d hid it, and I offered the ring to her.

It couldn’t have gone better, then or since.

Together May We Stay

Wouldn’t it be grand?
Wouldn’t it be sweet
If you spent the rest
Of your life with me?

Only you can stand my ranting
And my languid pace
Only you can carry me
And put me in my place

Wouldn’t it be true?
Wouldn’t it be real
To say that I’m a spoke
In your loving wheel?

Turning up a road that’s buried
In our future’s haze,
May we roll together
All our days

   For you I will be brave
   Together may we stay

Let us say the word
Let us make the sign
Say that I’m your equal
And you are mine

May the growing older bear
An interwoven truth
That these hearts are closer than
We thought they were in youth

May I take your hand?
May I take your smile?
May we both avoid only
Self-denial

It’s the greatest role
That we’ll ever get to play
May I be your co-star
Today?

   For you I will be brave
   Together may we stay

Wouldn’t it be grand?
Wouldn’t it be sweet
If you spent the rest
Of your life with me?

Would you spend the rest of
Your life with me?

© Copyright 1998-2012 Nate Orshan

This version of “Together May We Stay” was recorded live at Rose Street Cooperative and Artists’ Gallery in Burlington, Vermont, USA, on Friday, September 21, 2012. Those kids you hear in the background? They’re just a regular part of the Rose Street mix!

* Ohhhh, ohhhhh-kaaaaay. She probably woulda said “Yes” even if I’d gone to less effort. But still…

** Any Vermonters remember The Kennel on Williston Road? I never practiced there in a band, but I really liked its vibe. (“It’s like a house…for making music!”) Above all, I never would have ended up with this song. That must say something about the place’s feng shui.

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”Together May We Stay” Live at Rose Street — 4 Comments

  1. Crying while still reading your intro…but that’s my style. Love and miss you both. From one of the lucky few to find her troubador.

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