In the fall of 2004, I was back home in New Hampshire, getting ready to return for a second year of grad school, and head over heels in love with Cecile, a French exchange student that I'd met the previous year.
The only problem was that Cecile was back in France and I was stuck in New Hampshire, with a grueling year of research and writing ahead of me. The future was uncertain. I had no plans for after I graduated. Should I go back to Philly and get the band back together, and struggle to pay the rent? Or should I keep heading down the boring but comfortable path that academia seemed to be offering?
The only thing I was sure of was what I felt for Cecile. She was the One, the Big Love, my muse, and my inspiration.
I sat down and started to write. "It don't matter where you go, it doesn't matter how far away, Je toujours serai ton petit bébé." The French grammar was not quite right (I was only a beginner!) but the sentiment was spot on. The rest of the song seemed to just spill right out of me, and by nightfall I was playing it to her over the phone.
I'm not sure if the song had anything to do with it, but 8 years later I am living in Paris, married to Cecile, and writing songs for our baby daughter Emma. I'm still not sure what the future holds, but in those moments of doubt, I sing a familiar refrain: "Je serai toujours ton petit bébé."
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