Three Weddings And A Funeral

by Chris Monti

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about

The wedding songs collected here were written for my three sisters and their husbands and performed at their wedding receptions. In all cases the songs were written within a few days of the weddings and in two cases were still under construction the day of.

"Rosina Viola Querceto" is the name on my Grandma Rose's birth certificate. I worked on Rosina Viola for the last two years of her life and completed it the night before her funeral; we buried her the morning of New Years Eve 2010. My sister Alex gave a fine eulogy and then I played this song; two very different but complimentary tributes. I think I can sum up my relationship with my Grandma by quoting something she said to me well into her sad descent into Alzheimer's disease, when in the midst of the confusion and paranoia that disease produces she would occasionally say the most beautiful, poetic things: "You're not just my friend, you're also my grandson."

The instrumental songs here were all written for friends in the wash of spontaneous upwellings of affection and with the same spirit of love and thanks that I think permeates the songs for my sisters and Grandma.

Thanks to my Mom and Dad, Sylvia and Peter, for their constant love and support. Thanks to my extended family, especially Grandma Mary who is sharp and eagle-eyed at 92, and to my grand-folks who have passed, but whom I was lucky enough to know: Comincio Ciccarone, Joe Martino, Bill and Cecelia Gannon, and last but not least, Gaetano Arnilo Biagio Vincenzo Monti.

Special thanks to MWM, Inger, Iva, SS, JWGH and Lucinda Jane.

-Chris Monti
Winter 2012

credits

released January 3, 2013

Recorded and mixed at Machines With Magnets on 6 June 2012. Produced by Chris Monti. Engineered, recorded and Edited by Seth Manchester. Mixed by Seth, Chris, and Keith Souza. Mastered by Keith. Cover art by Lucinda Jane Churchill. Design by Chris and Caitlin Gaylord Churchill.
All Songs Written By Chris Monti © ℗ 2012

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about

Chris Monti Somerville, Massachusetts

Chris Monti is a singer/songwriter whose original songs are influenced by Rock + Roll, Country-Blues and Old-Time Fiddle Music as well as music from West Africa, Egypt, India and South America.
Chris has played with country-blues great Paul Geremia and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. Chris has a puppet show called "The Yankee Peddler", and a dance band Big Biscuit. .
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Track Name: Caroline and Matt's Wedding Song
Caroline and Matt's Wedding Song
-chris monti

Oh sister, on your wedding day
What helpful things can your brother say?
When we first met back in ‘79
I knew we would have a real good time
You’ve done everything right that I could not do
But still, you love me and I love you

You’ve got wide arms and a watermelon heart
And a good sense of family and that’s the best place to start
We’ve become good friends over the course of out lives
And now we’re old enough to talk about husbands and wives

Oh brother and sister, on your wedding day
What helpful things can your brother say?
Times will get tough but you can work through that part
Just listen carefully and keep an open heart
Take care of each other through thick and thin
No matter what situation you find you’re stuck in
Listen to each other and talk it through
And remember that the other is in love with you

Love is something we can’t understand
It doesn’t fit in our brains, it doesn’t fit in our hands
It doesn’t do to keep it and you can’t give it away
But be quiet and listen for it
And it can help you make your way… love

…oh sister and brother on your wedding day


© 2012 Chris Monti
Track Name: Roseanne and Marcus's Wedding Song
Roseanne and Marcus’s Wedding Song
--written by Chris Monti


I had my first band back in 1981, a marching band, I played the drum—Auntie Connie’s welcoming-home-the-baby parade. Roseanne came home on a stormy day, a felled tree across the driveway blocking the way. They wrapped her up tight walked the last stretch to the house and the music played

Holding Baby Rose in the orange chair in my race-car PJ’s in my short hair—the first inklings of the responsibilities of the Big Brother. We began to disagree at an early age I think fighting you taught me how to yell and curse—stupid childhood fights over Rights and space—I was so coarse as a boy, I’m sorry

You were the first one to go away to stay, South Carolina then Louisiana way. What is it of the southern temperament that fits you? Maybe someone you met down there?

The Montis—three generations of Italian Americans are a family of the Northeast. We love the bay, the mountains, the 4 seasons, but now due to reasons involving by a certain southern boy, we’ve expanded our geography. I made my 1st trip to Louisiana for the engagement party. We were so well-received by the Eagans – even the dirty hippie of the family—as I might have appeared at the time. I felt so welcome and I got to sit-in with the Dixieland band

So now Roseanne & Marcus are wed, share the same house, share the same bed. Will take on the responsibility of family, to pass on the lessons of our common humanity

Both of you are hardworking and have a competitive drive—you’ll do well for yourselves I have no doubt, but remember at heart what life is about—understanding, love, compassion. Not what you wear or own or some fleeting fashion. Ask “How are you?” and “How can I help?” Use your talents & good fortune for the benefit of everyone else

In your every move and action together, arguments like lead weights – easy love like a feather, your families are here for support and advice. Ask for it once, twice, three times/ We’ll never turn our backs on you, we’ll never turn you away. Don’t forget in your busy work lives, there is only one thing that persists and survives. And it is not love – it is the action of love, the act of compassion. Listen carefully for the heartbeat of the world – The heartbeat of wind and rocks of rain of every living thing. This beat is the same as the pulse within your own chest. The love that’s love for everything is the love that is the best

So brother and sister at your wedding time, thank you for listening to the thoughts on my mind. My self-righteous admonitions to be good and be kind

Roseanne, as children we fought like cats and dogs, bleating like sheep and snorting like hogs. I will always tell you when I think you are wrong, even in your wedding-day song. But I love you, I love you, I love you and I will always be here for you

Maurice Francis Eagan the Third, my new brother, our lifestyles are miles apart from each other. In marriage you’ve taken my sister’s hand, so I offer you my hand too in a brotherly shake. I’m here for help and advice as you and Roseanne a family make

Roseanne and Maurice, we offer you our prayers of love, our prayers of peace

© (p) 2012 Chris Monti
Track Name: Alex and Doug's Song
Alex and Doug’s Wedding Song written by Chris Monti

Friends and family we’re gathered here today
Our love to express, out respect to pay
For what we hope is the marital bliss
Of the union of Doug and my little sis

Starting out a life together
Sun and storm to ride and weather
A family to raise, a home to make
No doubt quick on the heels of cutting the cake

The Nisbets and Montis have long known each other
Each family lead by a strong father and mother
We each welcome the other, sisters and brother’s all
A bond made stronger by today’s church-bell call

I first met Doug when he was nine years old
I never imagined he would be so bold
To take my sister to have and to hold
Till they’re slow and gray and wrinkled and old

Doug I welcome you last as I welcomed Matt first
and Marcus in the middle, who amongst you three is the most cursed
With the particular tornado of the woman you’ve chosen
Burning fiery hot and icily frozen?

Doug, the simplest and the best advice I can give is,
“Let her win and she might let you live”

Alex, you can truly be a pain in the ass
Always trying to be the boss even though you were born last
But I really do love you despite every fight
Including the one we’ll probably have later tonight

Your sister and brother love and respect you
And we try to let go of our need to always protect you
But still you are our little sis
And after the dulling of this wedding day bliss
We’ll reveal ourselves older and wiser again and don’t be bitter
But you’ll be back to being the runt of the litter

In seriousness, Al…
Thanks Alex for being so supportive and understanding
Of a brother whom I know is very demanding
Not all siblings are friends and out friendship means a lot
Even when it burns a little too hot

So Alex and Dougie, on your wedding day
There are a few last things that I’d like to say…

There is something under the surface of life
Before love or hate, before man and wife
There is a whisper of a melody as thin as a hair
Its a call to attention a call to be here

No matter your job or life situation
Always listen carefully for that subtle vibration
It’s the tuning note of the love you feel for your beloved
There is no note below and no note above it

Don’t hold too tight to your opinions and ideas
To the things that you love, the things that you fear
And know that every action resonates
Through all of time and space

As you renew with marriage
This life you’ve shared for fifteen years
We toast and laugh and shed some tears
We wish you well and we wish you the best
And offer our love and support as you face each test

© 2012 Chris Monti
Track Name: Rosina Viola (Grandma Rose's Song)
Rosina Viola (Grandma Rose’s Song)
written by Chris Monti

I don’t think I’ve held up my end, my life long friend
I’ve taken much more than I’ve given, out of fear I’ve left so much hidden
Every time I see you, I feel love mixed with regret
Your mind is withered from so many days
And I fail you in the most basic ways

It’s my job to come often and sit by your side
Not to ponder whether you live or die
In that matter my hands are tied
Still I can visit and play for you and sing
This is what I have to share, This is what I have to bring

The evening is growing near
Still we have a meal to prepare
A feast for all of our friends and relations
And enemies and strangers, for all of creation
And what will be the dish?
Of course nothing but a little bread and a little fish
You ask that we bow our heads to pray
To give thanks for the food and thanks for the day
But I find I have nothing to say, not a thing
But I open my mouth and with love and thanks sing

The shadows are growing long as I lay you down to sleep
And play you one last lullaby and put my lips to your cheeks
I slip quietly from the room, by the light of a pale and waning moon
It breaks my heart to leave you here
But I know I’ll see you again
My timeless friend
The world is wide… as my love is near

Tear away the blinds, pull off the mask
Cut the chord that binds you hands
Loose the hobble that holds your legs
Even in the bitter end, time and space can bend
Grace can appear, suddenly as a tear, moving down your cheek

Suddenly the way is clear, you’ve known the route all along
You are the horse, the carriage, the rider
You are the one who sings this song

Fly on…
Weightless and free
The life and love we’ve shared will always be with us
Will always be with me

© 2012 Chris Monti