When You Breathe

Arranger: Anne Heider
Composer: Anne Heider
Lyricist: Anne Heider

When You Breathe 20180412a

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Submitter Comments

I wrote this in a song-writing workshop with Kate Munger, out of the experience of waiting at bedside, watching the slow, slow breathing of someone at the threshold. Each out-breath could be the last—and then you need courage to deal with the death. Then there’s another in-breath, and you need to gather your patience and continue to wait. We can’t alter the timing—“Your journey will begin when you’re ready.” That line could have been, “Your journey won’t begin until you’re ready,” but I preferred the positive “will begin” to the negative “won’t begin.” I added the drone parts a year or two later.

[2018.04.12a—Composer’s email address changed.]

T2P:OK—Limited permission granted to share your own recording, as described here: Temporary 2020 Permission Details


When you breathe out, I reach for courage.
When you breathe in, I gather patience.
Your journey will begin when you are ready.
Your jouney is your own. Someday I’ll follow.