The Beauty All Around


Today I visited one of my favorite urban yards (near the intersection of Dana and Centre streets in Cambridge, MA) as I was biking home from a visit with my beloved acupuncturist.

The people who live there have planted an astonishing number of bulbs under a huge beech tree in front of their home.


Right now hundreds of snowdrops and crocii are blooming, as well as one tiny Siberian iris.

And even though the temperature was near 32 degrees Fahrenheit, I saw two little bees diligently visiting each crocus flower to gather tiny bits of pollen.


Crocus And Squirrel

The crocii have inspired me to share two different versions of a song I wrote a couple of years ago, “The Beauty All Around.”

Here’s a version I recorded last week with pianist/composer Doug Hammer.


I think this song originally sprang out of an excited realization that some of my favorite pop songs — such as “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay — were based on only four chords.

I am not sure when I came up with this particular four-chord progression — but I remember sitting at a picnic table next to a lake near Worcester, MA, when I started recording it.

It was a warm autumn afternoon, and I was attending one of my favorite congregations of human beings on planet earth, the Massachusetts Men’s Gathering.

Although I was not having the best time at my day job (as the lyrics attest…), I was happy and grateful to be sitting by the water, surrounded by trees and birds and sky and clouds.

Here is my original version, recorded using my trusty Apple laptop running GarageBand plus my small, blue ukulele.


If you are able to take the time to listen to both versions, you will notice how the lyrics have evolved a bit.

ps: If you are ever feeling down in the dumps and have access to the internet, just do a search for “crocus images.” So many colors! So much beauty! What a planet…

12 thoughts on “The Beauty All Around

  1. Will,
    Again you have inspired me with song.
    With thoughts of spring on everyones mind are we missing out on the end of winter? How the cold and snow is loosing it’s battle as the crocus/daffodils/tulips push onwards and upwards.Without the winter there is no spring.So thank you old man winter for protecting all that comes back to life. We truely are grateful for the chance to renew our lives once again with the blooming of the crocus.

  2. I love crocii. They’re all finished here in sunny Sussex. The daffodils are finishing too, but the grape hyacinths & forget-me-nots are coming out & the bluebells will soon be in flower. Happy days … and your song makes today happier still – thank you.

  3. Hope the day job improved since then. Here is something cheery a friend put on Facebook today, and I know you will get it: “Overheard in heaven: ‘Let’s do a show! We can use the old barn and …’ “

  4. Version 1 Chorus amazing… love the laugh in your voice. Stunning (typing as listening) beautiful voice. Love the jazz feel …Brilliant…It brought a tear to my eye
    Version 2 great version too… such a different feel more upbeat. Don’t sound at all like Coldplay but I sincerely think if you played this to Chris Martin- he’d fall in love. Double tracked voice stunning…. And 4 basic chords: unbelievable you can do this with them. Stunning mate Stunning. Love the chorus used as a prayer and the percussion backing near the end.

    And Will please don’t think I am being nice or supportive…I haven’t got a supportive bone in my body. I say what I see! Cheers Paul

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