Broomy Zoomy Zoom!

It’s time to blog about the title track from my Halloween CD this year – “A Broom With A View.”

It’s about a witch taking a joy ride on a broom. This is one song I could call “Halloween History ‘Lite’” because I don’t go too far into the history of witches and Halloween. I just wanted to create a mood and emotion of a lovely, elegant witch taking an otherworldly ride through the sky.

In writing this one, I wanted to have fun with the chromatic scale (that basically means all the black and white notes). I scored the strings to twist and turn to sound like she’s really guiding that broom for a delicious spin. I took an idea that Beethoven uses prominently in his music – some even call it one of his trademarks – the hemiola. To explain it simply, this is when, in triple meter, the accent changes from every three beats to every two beats (without changing the meter).

I wrote it a couple of years ago, and had always played it at a slower waltz tempo. But when I started to think of how I would arrange it for my CD, I realized that it was just too slow. Yawn. I took out my metronome and started experimenting with higher tempos, and all of a sudden, life came into this carol! It’s more of a Viennese Waltz tempo now and I think it suits her better.

For the lyrics, I summoned visions into my mind’s eye and set to describe them. I wanted to capture the sensory elements of Halloween, because I think this season is such a glorious feast for the senses. For me, the sky in all its varieties is a big part of the whole Halloween/autumn season. I love how it “sets” everything, whether it’s a sunny afternoon with the sun at that low autumnal angle, or delicious grey rain, or a black night with piercingly white stars.

Come, my broom, it’s time to view the world with the moon.

Listen! Ev’ning winds approach to escort us up.

Halloween makes midnight seem candle-lit by stars and screams!

Ah, Oooh! Ride and glide as in a dream.

As we rise past curving branches which sweep us high,

Ghosts wave, visiting a time past before the grave.

Halloween makes midnight seem candle-lit by stars and screams!

Ah, Oooh! Ride and glide as in a dream.

Down below, the porches glow for Trick-or-Treaters.

Broom, swoop us through cemeteries’ old pretty stones!

Halloween makes midnight seem candle-lit by stars and screams!

Ah, Oooh! Ride and glide as in a dream.

How the scent of dry leaves mingles with warm lanterns,

Wafting as a stream into the black sea of night!

Halloween makes midnight seem candle-lit by stars and screams!

Ah, Oooh! Ride and glide as in a dream.