“O Fire” performed by Jeff and Vida


Writing songs is harder than writing poems. I’ve left many unwritten, but have been friends with songwriters, the type who try to write a song a day. My friends Jeff and Vida made this album as they were committing to a life of music together, a brave move that led to more than a decade of touring and recording and making great music all over the country, although they’re pursuing individual paths now. We played every Tuesday night – or Thursday? — for years at Liuzza’s By the Track in Mid-City New Orleans from 1998 to 2003. The album has other great songs, including “Don’t Leave the Lights On for Me,” “Come Back Home to You,” and “The Simplest Plans.” I wrote “O Fire” for them, to justify a seat in that circle. Those were good days and I am unapologetically sentimental for them.

-Ed Skoog

esEd Skoog is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Run the Red Lights. His second, Rough Day, won the 2014 Washington State Book Award in Poetry. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and previously wrote in Coldfront about the fiddle tune “Billy in the Lowground.”

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Photo credit: Matthew Dickman