Jamie & Michael: Waving to Picasso

Welcome to this new feature! As of 9/20 my blog will have a new feature Song Notes, the stories and audio recordings of songs Michael wrote for me and/or performed with me.

“To all of you who think you know me
You think you know my heart
You see me in cafes and think
That’s all there is to know”

by Michael Peter Smith

Song Notes from Jamie O’Reilly
Michael Smith wrote this song for my 40th birthday. He was reading Lorca’s “Green” at the time. Lunar Cabaret asked us to create a new folk cabaret. We came up with Hello Dali: From the Sublime to the Surreal, a revue featuring the songwriter’s view of art, with paintings projected behind us as we sang. The show would go on to several theatrical runs, culminating in being part of Victory Gardens Theater’s Tony awardwinning 2001 season, with Jenny Magnus and Beau O’Reilly in the cast. Directed by Paul Amandes.

There are two versions below. One is live with Michael and Jamie sharing the verses. Peter Swenson joins on guitar, And the others. a vocal solo, with Michael accompanying on bass and guitar.


Listen here:

Waving to Picasso, Jamie & Michael, duet
Michael and Peter Swenson, guitars

Waving to Picasso with Jamie solo, accompanied by Michael on guitars and bass

Waving to Picasso

As I went out on my veranda
The air was thick with spice
The sun shown blood red on the sand
In the fading of the light
I saw a man on Embarcadero street, rooted as a tree
He waved to me, and then he disappeared into the gathering night

He waved to me and I waved back
Like I knew him well because he knew me
But never spoke we
Not a single word
And there I was, freer than a bird
With three wings, waving to Picasso


While in the realm of the green buddha
A tiger in the shade of a mighty banyan
stretched and slept
and dreamed of footprints on a beach
I saw a man naked in the jungle heat
Set the tiger free
He looked my way
I knew I’d seen him once
Some place just out of reach

To all of you who think you know me
You think you know my heart
You see me in cafes and think
That’s all there is to know
Is there a season will not cut me deep?
That’s how I’m like him.
Where could you go to find a garden
My love could not make grow?

He waved to me and I waved back
Like I knew him well because he knew me
But never spoke we
Not a single word
And there I was, freer than a bird
With three wings, waving to Picasso

As heard in “Hello Dali: From the Sublime to the Surreal”
Victory Gardens Theater Production
Paul Amandes, Director

Michael, Jamie, Peter 1996
private recording

From Swimming Deeper recording
Jamie, vocals
Michael, guitars and bass
Rob Arendt engineer, percussion
2001
J. O’Reilly Productions

More about Swimming Deeper on my discopgraphy pages.
https://www.jamieoreilly.com/recordings/swimming-deeper/

3 Comments

  1. Jamie –
    Looking forward to listening to Swimming Deeper. You and Michael made a formidable team! I wish I had had the opportunity to hear you both together in a live show.
    May you find peace in you new world without the loved ones you’ve lost in the past year.

  2. Thank you for this new feature. I’ve spent hours here already. I did see all your collaborative shows at the Lunar Cafe, Theatre on the Lake & Victory Gardens a long time ago and am so happy to go back and carefully listen, to this beautiful birthday gift, especially. Your collaboration is transcendent.

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