Top of the World

8 Jun

Sunday was inspiring, Monday was a whirlwind, Tuesday is happening now.

I do believe I promised you a surprise, somewhere in there.

Before we get there, though, I have to tell you something fun.  The Monday Whirlwind saw fit to plop me down within driving distance from THE Melissa Williams.  As in, awesome blog-friend extraordinaire, known to the Twitterverse merely as @melissaiswrite.

We chatted for hours over a grande nonfat latte and an iced venti chai, and you know what?  She’s every bit as awesome in person.  Now I wish we lived closer.  Alas.  Maybe one day.  Hopefully.

So, the surprise!

In honor of Set #2 for the Creativity Workshop, in which I’m loosely basing my four short stories on songs about birds, I’ve decided to take YouTube by storm.  Hopefully, said storm will be a small one, more like dreary uninteresting drizzle, because I don’t quite care to get in trouble for using someone else’s material. (That said, Powers That Be: if you want me to take it down, no worries.  I’m a YouTube novice, and don’t care that much about having an account.  This is just for fun.  I can sing the song in the quiet of my own living room.) (Typed by my inner goody-goody.)

Powers That Be aside, you may have gathered: I covered a song.  It’s not perfect, I fumble over a couple of words, but hey.  It’s not touched up by auto-tune, which is saying something these days.  Plus, to perfect it would take away from my writing time, right?  Right.

So.  Click here to watch and listen to my cover of Patty Griffin’s “Top of the World.” I posted a version that works on iPhones as well as computers, so hopefully you guys can see it.

This is the song that’s inspiring my story this week.  Here are the lyrics, in case you want to read along.  Hope you enjoy it, even though it’s a terribly sad song.  I can never say enough about how incredible Patty Griffin’s songwriting is.

Top of the World

by Patty Griffin

I wish I was smarter / I wish I was stronger

I wish I’d loved Jesus / The way my wife does

I wish it had been easier / Instead of any longer

I wish I could have stood / where you would have been proud

That won’t happen now / That won’t happen now

There’s a whole lot of singing that’s never gonna be heard

Disappearing every day without so much as a word, somehow

Think I broke the wings off that little songbird

She’s never gonna fly to the top of the world, now

To the top of the world

I don’t have to answer / any of these questions

Don’t have no one to / teach me no lessons

I’d come home in the evenings / Sit in my chair

One night they called me for supper / But I never got up

I sat right there / in my chair


I wish I’d have known you / I wish I’d have shown you

All of the things I / held on the inside

I’d pretend to be sleeping / when you’d come in in the morning

To whisper goodbye and go to work in the rain and

I don’t know why / don’t know why

Everyone’s singing, we just want to be heard

Disappearing every day without so much as a word, somehow

Wanna grab ahold of that little songbird

Take her for a ride to the top of the world, right now

To the top of the world

[tweetmeme source= “olsonkayla” only_single=false]


16 Responses to “Top of the World”

  1. Melissa Tuesday / 8 June 10 at 12:49 pm #

    Kayla, you are AMAZING! I can’t believe you let me offend your ears yesterday with my Cairo song! That was phenomenal!

    Also. I will again reiterate. The economy in Houston is thriving & jiving. Andrew would totally get a sweet job down here…. 😀

    Plus I am geographically restricted to Houston & surrounding areas, so I mean… for us to be together, you really need to come down here & play in the humidity. It’s a blasty blast.

    This also means I have supreme bragging rights because IIIIII saw your novellllll…. in card formmmm…..

    I’m going to stop now. Can you tell I don’t want to go back to work? Sigh.

    • Melissa Tuesday / 8 June 10 at 12:50 pm #


      One of my coworkers popped into my desk/office/thingy while I was listening to your video & went “WHO IS THAT? She is so good!”

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 9 June 10 at 4:55 pm #

      *Blushing Kayla* Aw, thanks, Melissa. 🙂 Thanks to your co-worker, too. Your Cairo song was awesome. Do not worry about my ears! They took no offense, and what’s more, they have pleasant memories of your adorable song.

      So, I’m guessing the “surrounding areas” you are restricted to do not extend as far as Austin, huh? 😉 That’s been our if-we-move-away-we’ll-probably-move-there spot for a while now, but that’s far from a sure thing. If you reiterate fervently enough, however, you might just be able to tilt the scales in favor of Houston humidity. (And you. Of course.)

      (PS: Anything that is a blasty blast sounds like funny fun to me!)

      It’s true. My novel of neon cards has been gazed upon by all of three people. You’re one of them. 🙂

      Dang it. I just started thinking about sharing Creativity Workshop stories, and talking about our novels, and Starbucks time, and…how do you think my hair would look in Houston humidity? Hmmm.

  2. Linda Cassidy Lewis Tuesday / 8 June 10 at 1:17 pm #

    Wow! And WOW! Can I admit I was a little nervous about listening? You know, American Idol auditions show us how many people only THINK they can sing. 🙂 But not you, girl, you totally CAN!!! Loved it. Can you tell? 😀

    And, I’m jealous that Melissa has seen your novel … in any form!

    BTW, I promised myself not to go on Twitter today, but I had to RT this post.

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 9 June 10 at 5:11 pm #

      Linda, you’re so funny. Thank you so much for all your sweet words! 🙂 I know what you mean about American Idol making you nervous, that’s really funny. Ohhhh man, I’d be so mad if I sounded like some of those auditions and no one ever told me. How embarrassing would that be?

      Oh, I’m sure you’ll get to see it some day. It might not be for a little while, but yes. 🙂

      Thanks for breaking your Twitter/Facebook fast for me!

  3. Linda Cassidy Lewis Tuesday / 8 June 10 at 1:19 pm #

    Also, FB it! Wow!!!!!!!!

  4. J.C Tuesday / 8 June 10 at 2:47 pm #

    I so wanna watch it, but Lauren is crying at me because its not the Wiggles! I shall have to return when its nap time. But what a lovely idea, I love your accent, can’t wait to hear it!

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 9 June 10 at 5:18 pm #

      Thanks for the sweet words, Cassie! Oh, man, if only I’d chosen “Big Red Car,” or some other Wiggles song, to base my story on, hehe. 🙂

      I have an accent? 😉 Seriously, though, you ought to hear my mom. Andrew laughs when I get on the phone with her, because I start to sound REEEEALLY stereotypically Texan. Speaking of accents, I’ve often wondered what you and Merrilee sound like. (How similar are Australian accents to the NZ ones?) I love Emilie de Ravin’s accent (she plays Claire on LOST) – I imagine something along these lines when I picture you guys.

  5. J.C Tuesday / 8 June 10 at 6:10 pm #

    absolutely beautiful, both you and your singing 🙂

  6. Merrilee Tuesday / 8 June 10 at 8:46 pm #

    Holy shit Kayla you can sing! This is awesome!

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 9 June 10 at 5:20 pm #

      This comment made me laugh! Thanks, Merrilee! And, I know I said it before, but thanks again for the RT and the blog post. Now. Time to continue working on the actual story… 🙂

  7. Rosalind Adam Wednesday / 9 June 10 at 11:33 am #

    That’s so lovely. You are clever. Looking forward to next week’s song!

    • owlandsparrow Wednesday / 9 June 10 at 5:23 pm #

      Hi, Rosalind! Thanks for the compliments, and for looking forward to next week’s song! 🙂 I switched the order around because I wanted to record that song first, so I’m not sure which one I’ll do next. I’m looking forward to it, too – I spend so much time reading and writing, I don’t play guitar or sing very often anymore.


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