Singled Out: Tyler Lyle's Winter Is For Kierkegaard
Winter is For Kierkegaard is the oldest song on the album and the only one not written in LA. In 2008, after I graduated from Georgia State University, I moved to Europe. I had figured out a sneaky way to get a student loan from my old university (even though I had finished my courses), and I thought "I yep. I should spend that?" I moved to Prague first to become certified to teach English as a foreign language, and moved to Paris to find a job shortly after. I ran out of money pretty early on, and the teaching wasn't giving me enough to really pay bills.
So, I was living on cheap Scotch and cans of Choucroute from Carrefour which were basically random cuts of cheap meat and frankfurters in a big can with pickled cabbage. They weren't good, but there were cheap. It was the first season of my life that I felt completely and utterly free. When the weather was good, my friends and I would eat baguettes and olives on the Pont Des Artes, which is a bridge across the Seine, just west of the Ile de La Cite. On Wednesdays I would play at the Highlander Pub's Open Mic on rue Nevers. On Mondays I would play at the Tennessee Bar in the Latin Quarter. I was living off of $5 a day and buying and reading so many used books (that I would sell back to the other English used bookstore and sometimes make a profit). When winter came, the sun was setting at 3:30, and I was staying up until 6am most nights.
The inspiration for the song started with a quote I saw from Karl Marx written on the wall at the Palais de Tokyo Museum that said "Tout ce qui est solide se dissout dans l'air" which means "all that is solid melts into air" which I thought was beautiful and poetic and made some sense to me at the time. Incidentally I was also reading Kierkegaard's Purity of Heart Is To Will One Thing and It was somewhere in a whiskey fog in the early morning Paris winter when this song found its way onto my Sony cassette recorder. It isn't structured like most of my other songs, and I still don't know what it means, but I feel the influences of it every time I sing it- being 22 and broke in Paris, reading too many heavy books, insisting that it wasn't too cold to go for a picnic on the bridge. That was a good year.