A wedding song

figy wedding song

Sarah and Michelle sing the song as I play and Stephanie enjoys her serenade, June 6, 2015.

“When are you going to write a song about me?” Stephanie asked me this question often when we first started dating. And rightly so. I’d written songs about girls before—and songs about books and songs about songs—so it made sense I would write one about the woman I’d one day marry.

But I stopped writing songs all together. It didn’t have anything to do with Stephanie, though it might’ve had something to do with the effect she had on my life. I went to college, realized getting my act together wasn’t lame. She made me better from Day 1.

Still, the songs stopped. I couldn’t perform. “I’m sorry,” I felt like saying. “Don’t know why it’s not working. I’ve never had this problem before.”

Eventually, she stopped asking and, on occasion, would say: “One day you’ll write a song about me.” Which is both a request and imperative.

Writing a new song for our wedding was my idea. Pulling through this once became important. I needed a simple, straightforward song that captured how I feel about Stephanie, our life together, and our journey ahead—to Mankato and beyond! The result, I believe, does that.

The phrase “small ball of twine” popped up when I stopped thinking too hard about it and just wrote. Fun fact: Minnesota is home to the world’s largest ball of twine. I didn’t know this when I wrote the song—but I digress.

My older sisters Michelle and Sarah, who are also married, sang the song at the wedding. Most guests didn’t know it was written for the bride. Some said they thought they’d heard it before on the radio. Anyone who found out said I had to record it. The echoing cell phone video on Facebook didn’t cut it. Making a better recording has been on my To-Do before Minnesota list since practically the day after the wedding.

So, ahem, without further ado…


And for those who asked for the words…

Small Ball of Twine

Pens and a little cash,
Some crumpled paperbacks,
Tales of wanderlust,
You can have them because
I can’t imagine my life
Without you by my side,
Just unravelling life
Like a small ball of twine.

This I have to bring:
My strengths and all my needs,
My wins and losing streaks.
I’m yours, if you’ll have me.
And this I promise too:
We’ll always make it through,
I’ll always fight for you.
It’s true—you know I do.

Good days and hospital stays—
I’ll be there always.
In sunny or gray,
I’ll stay.

This I have to bring:
My strengths and all my needs,
My wins and losing streaks.
I’m yours, if you’ll have me.
And this I promise too:
We’ll always make it through,
I’ll always fight for you.
It’s true—you know I do.

What do I have to offer?
A million and one gifts would never be enough.
What do I have to offer?
It’s not much, but this I promise, Love…

This I have to bring:
My strengths and all my needs,
My wins and losing streaks.
I’m yours, if you’ll have me.
And this I promise too:
We’ll always make it through,
I’ll always fight for you.
It’s true—you know I do.

‘Cause I can’t imagine my life
Without you by my side,
Just unravelling life
Like a small ball of twine.

wedding song

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