Anything Can Happen in a Life

Marilyn Cooney

Vivid lyrics and haunting melodies of every mood will evoke your own life experiences as you listen to this singer's debut of her original compositions. Sincere, affecting vocals meld perfectly with the extraordinary piano skills of Barry Lloyd.

My life began with family sing-alongs, my father on piano and accordion, playing by ear. My love affair with the piano started the moment Dad placed my small fingers in C major position. Many years later, most of the songs on this CD were born on that family upright, which my mother had shipped to me from New York one Christmas.

Growing up near New York City, I was raised on Broadway tunes, but credit also goes to Debussy, Cole Porter, Motown, The Kingston Trio, and many others whose music became part of me. I have always tinkered with words, but at 16, lyrics and music convereged when my siblings bought me a pawn shop guitar. As I sang the works of Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, Carole King, and Laura Nyro, I learned that everyday experiences could become universal songs.

As a high school English teacher for 12 years, I was privileged to help students find their own writing voices, while they showed me the courage of self-expression. In the meantime I attended and led seminars in self-discovery, where I began to write songs. When I retired, my dear husband encouraged my devotion to music. The path led to the San Francisco cabaret community, where I encountered musicians who became friends, mentors and colleagues.

It was Barry Lloyd who faithfully transcribed my songs into lead sheets, tweaking a chord here and there for flavor. He also taught me vocal interpretation and some simple ways to accompany myself. But Barry is the primary pianist on this album, and as you listen to his lush arrangements, you will know why his solo cabaret shows are acclaimed nationwide.

Songwriting is a mysterious process. Sometimes it seems as if out of nowhere, notes and words come flying, and all I have to do is scribble them down before the moment is lost. Other songs require far more conscious effort, but all are gifts.

I hope that my experiences and observations, collected here in musical form, will speak to you or encourage your own self-expression, for tuly, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN A LIFE!

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