I posted a new song on my media page entitled Nica’s Dream.
The music was written in 1956 by one of my favorite jazz musicians and composers, Horace Silver.
I learned the song during a difficult time when I was struggling to help someone I love dearly. They were battling an addiction and I felt helpless. The problem felt consuming and, sometimes, I found myself enabling the person instead of helping. Somehow, I found solace in this melody. It felt therapeutic to sing it. I wrote the lyrics about my experiences:
Her tears fall down like rain
Her honest attempts
Seem to be only in vain
His heart’s drenched with her care
Still he doesn’t see why she’s there
She spends most of the day
Searching around for just the right words to say
And time just doesn’t wait
Moments pass her by – it’s too late.
Nica is trying in each and every way
‘n all her tears she just hides them away – where they will stay
Patiently win him, she knows she must succeed
It’s not just what Nica wants it’s Nica’s dream
Her dreams are all for him
She’s there, right by his side
He always comes first
Her feelings always denied
She hopes one day he’ll change
No matter what becomes, she’ll remain
Whether she is sleeping, waking, dreaming, breaking too
Nica’s dream will pull him through.
At the time, I didn’t know that the song was titled as a tribute to Kathleen Annie Pannonica de Koenigswarter, a descendant of the Rothschild family dynasty. The Rothschild family is known as one of the wealthiest families in the world. Nica, as her friends called her, was a jazz enthusiast who dedicated her life to helping Bebop musicians. She paid hospital bills, and rent. She also bought groceries, paid rent and provided transportation. Jazz legend Charlie Parker spent his last days with Nica. When Parker died in her apartment her reputation was openly attacked. Still, she continued to support the music and musicians she loved. This commitment earned her the title ‘The Jazz Baroness.’ And the feeling was mutual; She’s had numerous tunes written for her.
Ponnonica, Ba-Lue Bolivar Blues & Comin’ on The Hudson by Thelonious Monk | Nica’s Tempo by Gigi Gryce | Nica’s Dream by Horace Silver | Nica by Sonny Clark | Tonica by Kenny Dorham | Blues for Nica by Kenny Drew | Nica Steps Out by Freddie Redd | Inca et Nicaragua & Cats in My Belfry by Barry Harris | Thelonica by Tommy Flannigan | A Waltz for the Barroness by Ray Draper | Inca by James Spaulding | Theme for Nica by Eddie Thompson
Even though I didn’t know anything about Nica I think there’s a beautiful connection between the lyrics I wrote and Nica’s life. She spent a lifetime discovering and meeting the needs of the people she loved through thick and thin. I hope to can do the same!