I grew up across the road from an apple orchard and a quarter mile from an avocado and kiwi farmer. We also had our own ragtag orchard of sorts: an apricot tree, a cherry tree, pear, walnut, persimmon, lemon, several apple trees as well as some scraggly grapes and a tangle of blackberries.
Some years you were lucky to get a few pieces from any one tree or bush but something was always producing a good crop. And what we didn’t grow ourselves we’d often get in exchange for our honey. (In college, living away from home for the first time, I was miffed to learn people actually bought fruit!)
My dad tended five beehives and we always had more honey than we could possibly eat ourselves.
When I was 11 or 12, I can’t quite remember, the grassy, sloping, until-then-undeveloped acreage next door was subdivided. Soon after, my dad went to check on the hives to find they’d been stolen.
The theft of the hives marked a big turn in my home life which I’ve tried to write about in a lot of different ways. I had a lyric about that time sitting around for several months when @kwamecopeland and I went to Joshua Tree to work on music:
“dreaming of bees/honey on the comb/the way they swarmed and flew on their way home/one big whir/queen and drone/making honey....”
When he brought me some music one day that I thought would be a good fit, voila, “Honey” the song was fully realized!
Between now and it’s official release day, I’ll be sharing a bit of the inspiration and backstory for each song on The Department of the West (December 6, 2019), and a preview of the recording. Pre-order the record HERE and I’ll send you the featured song of the week of your order!