Terri Binion – “Burden Song” (audio) (premiere)

Florida's Terri Binion is a singer-songwriters' singer-songwriter known for her meticulously crafted lyrics and consummate musicality

Florida’s Terri Binion is a singer-songwriters’ singer-songwriter in that she’s greatly admired by the likes of Lucinda Williams, Jim White, Jimmy Webb for her meticulously crafted lyrics and consummate musicality. Binion has had a rough year or so, losing her beloved wife and both parents, all the while struggling long and hard for marriage equality. These hardships and her life’s journeys are the central concern of Binion’s new album The Day After The Night Before, of which new single “Burden Song” is but a part. “Burden Song” is musically based on her love of Antony and the Johnson’s “Shake That Devil” melded with lyrics depicting her long struggle for acceptance as a lesbian navigating the often hostile waters of contemporary America.

Binion tells PopMatters that “‘Burden Song’ was created in an unusual wood shedding sort of moment. I was a bit obsessed with Antony and the Johnson’s ‘Shake That Devil’, which is vocal and drums with a drone keyboard. As a folk singer, I was frustrated that I couldn’t pull it off with guitar, so I took Antony’s lyrics and built a chord progression and a new melody. So what you hear here is that chord progression and melody with the lyric I wrote once I decided I wanted to keep it for my own. In Antony’s “Shake That Devil”, someone is suffering their burdens greatly, and they come in animal form metaphors. This song speaks to me cerebrally. It always makes for a reaction in me.

A year or so prior to this sort of experiment, I had written down a verse about a nightmare that had gone on for hours during my sleep. Like a skipping record I kept picking up a broom and began to sweep the floor but never finishing. I knew to pull that up to use in this particular song where I was crafting something as a sort of direct study or challenge, while taking this strange hair pin curve route to crafting a song. Keeping the subject of metaphors, there was a certain fear that came with this song in regards to my relationship. The last verse about the bird always worried me. About a year and a half after finishing the song there was a fatality. The broom, the anchor, the bird may have been metaphors, but there was most certainly a premonition. Careful of your fear.”