Harold is known by most for his eponymous song “Harold’s Song”. I wrote Harold’s song in like 20 minutes as filler for my album, but it turned out to be the most popular song. Harold is a stand-in for myself, grappling with issues such as sustainable food (I have since become vegetarian), economic systems (I don’t know), and which Tom Waits song is the best (I even more don’t know).
I’m not sure if that metaphor is immediately obvious by the lyrics alone. But I was once interviewed by a ten year old in the Daily Dirt, the newspaper for the camp I worked at where Harold’s Song gained prominence. When the kid learned about the meaning behind the fish, his eyes grew wide and his eyebrows popped from his chubby cheeks. I think it’s like when you finally start to get stuff they teach you in English class about the green light not really being just a green light, or Frankenstein’s monster not really being the actual monster. And then you start to see art representing other things in all kinds of media. But I never finished either book so who knows.
Harold passed away the same day I received confirmation that Burtle (Baby (sea) turtle), was successfully sponsored. Burtle was named by my sister and is starting their journey to eat for 30 years (what a life!) and then hopefully return to Pulau Mabul to have eggs of their own. I know its coincidence, but I find comfort in a seeming Circle of Life.
I thank Harold for giving me confidence in my song writing and performance. I thank him for being a constant, even as a living thing, while change is always there. And I thank him for being a connection to my family, as I’m often not with them. Harold is now free to go, and he no longer needs a bowl.
Though the introduction is no longer true, I’d like to share an acoustic recording made at camp, previously only released on CD, reflecting Harold’s initial rise to fame.