9. Life Is Something That Happens

Name Play-Pause-Stop Length
Life Is Something That Happens
Sari Max

1:00 min

9. Life Is Something That Happens (3:42)

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Life Is Something That Happens

Music and lyrics by Sari Max and Joan Spear


Got the news this morning – ‘Tino died last night

She had battled her illness and put up a fight

Not much fight left – the end was near I had no doubt

We said our goodbyes then her body gave out

When we were young girls lots of friends died

When we were young girls we never cried

There was no time or place that felt safe enough

Gang life ruled the streets you had to be tough



Life is heartbeat by heartbeat - breath by breath

Life is something that happens - so is death

How to live in the moment

With so much behind and so much ahead


I tried to save ‘Tino I tried to save me

‘Open Air, Open Doors’ was our opportunity

It was just a beginning I learned I was smart

Now I’m back in school, I’m turned onto art


I found that something for me but ‘Tino never did

She slipped through the cracks, got aids, ran and hid

She never connected

To the stuff that helps you deal with life’s pain

She wanted out – the quick fix – again and again

And again and again…






If there’s just one kid like ‘Tino that I can reach

I’ll tell them we’ve been there, trapped rats with no hope

I turned it around - it took guts not dope!






This is one of two songs Joan Spear and I wrote for the musical, “Changing Faces” (along with a write-up on the work, there are video clips of two additional songs on the website under the tab: “musical theater”). In the performance piece, among several other characters, I play a young woman named “YoYo” from the inner city. She and her buddy, a girl named “Tino”, are sent to a Fresh Air Fund kind of summer program (and to live with a family in the ‘burbs) called, “Open Air, Open Doors). They may have left the inner city but they take problems like drugs and guns with them. This heart-wrenching song tells the story of how the girls’ lives take very different paths. Joan wrote the exquisite chorus and together we wrote the verses. Jeff Harris’ arrangement is haunting and intimate. Lew Soloff’’s trumpet is once again a plaintive and lyrical voice. The spare percussion adds so much to the mood of the piece. It is a tragic yet hopeful little one-act play unto itself…I love this song for its strong message about “finding that something” each and every one of us needs to feel whole…”breath by breath”. I hope that “Changing Faces” once again can reach audiences of teens and their ”significant adult others”…and help to be a catalyst for change.