Writing a Letter to Jane After Many Years

(2019; voice and piano version, 2021)

(lyrics by Anna Weesner)
Instrumentation: voice, guitar. Or: voice, piano
Duration: 4:30


Dear Jane, do you remember me,
I trust you—I hope you—remember me, Jane?
I was a friend of your brother
It’s so long ago, you may recall
I thought I’d say hello
The word ‘friend’ may be an understatement
He was my first love
You must miss him, too
Could you tell me something?
I hope you’re well
It’s been years
I’d love to talk, Jane
I never knew what happened. I was wondering, Jane.
I’ve always wondered what happened to him
I live in Philadelphia now
I don’t want to make you sad, Jane
When I say I’ve wondered what happened
It’s not so much how he died, why he died
So much as it’s why is he not here?
It’s so strange feels like he’s only missing
As if I’ve misplaced my jacket or my purse
I always thought you were so pretty so kind
A musician, you knew how you wanted to live
You had clarity, Jane—Did he love me?
There are songs about circles I can’t do them justice
When I knew him life was a line
We followed
I never said, let’s keep going
Dear Jane,
The older I get the closer it feels
The past lives right next door
It’s not timelessness, it’s not speed
It is being closer to end, feeling the whole
Some possible arc, a circle of time
I don’t mean to get carried away, Jane
I still wonder what happened, Jane
I hope you’re well

Writing a Letter to Jane After Many Years was commissioned by the Bowers Fader Duo and premiered by them on October 18, 2019 at National Opera Center in New York, NY.