composer’s note: When I first encountered Wendy Cope’s poetry, I was immediately struck by what a brilliant humorist she is, and by how many times I laughed out loud while reading. But the more I read her books, the more I found a surprising tenderness beneath the humor. So, in choosing the poetry for “I’m Afraid It’s You,” I wanted to explore that feeling, to write a song cycle that was funny and light-hearted on the surface but at its core was a set of earnest love songs.
An old axiom of dramatic literature says that it’s easy to go from a funny tone to a serious one, but nearly impossible to go the other way around. I chose to take that difficult path and see where it would lead. Nowhere is this as obvious as in the last two songs, where I first rip a classic love ballad to shreds, and then follow it up immediately with an intensely earnest & heartfelt love song, “A Vow.”