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Cosmic Circus Tent / Sparrow (video)

Thoughts upon returning to Music City 

+ our New Album & Video 

COSMIC CIRCUS TENT is our first recording since returning to Nashville in 2016 and settling back into the rich and diverse musical environment for which this community is known. We literally feel awash with amazing music of all kinds throughout this vibrant city. Nashville naturally brings out the writer in you, if that is your calling, and this town boasts some of the best in the world. The opportunity to record more music and reconnect with so many friends was a big factor in our return to Music City after seventeen years in Hawaii.

Soon after returning and settling in, Suchi and I started to map out possible recording projects. We grouped many of my songs into categories where they best complimented each other and made a cohesive statement. The variety and subject matter determined “best fits” and we refined the lists from there. Under the working title of “Cosmic Circus Tent” a series of six songs considering questions and observations of the knowable and unknowable began to align themselves. From the macro to the micro … the vastness of a clear night sky to your own inner light, these songs are held together by a common thread; wonder at all that surrounds us as we move through time and space. Time, the currency we are given at birth, can be spent wisely or foolishly. It is given in a very limited quantity making it maddening to waste and majestic to contemplate. These songs, my version of scratches on a cave wall, acknowledge with respect and wonder all we experience by our conscious presence in this world.

Starting with the song COSMIC CIRCUS TENT, born partially out of a trip to Bali a few years ago, which asks the questions anyone who has ever looked up at the stars has asked themselves: Who are we? Where do we fit? Where does it start? Where does it end? The songs meander through beliefs such as MY RELIGION IS A SONG, a long held overview of my appreciation for the earth and the arts, to I WANT TO WALK ON MARS, a reaction to watching the successful Mars landing on television in Hawaii and becoming swept up in the elation of mission control as the lander successfully beamed back to earth! SONGS & PRAYERS chronicles a life together with Suchi and the ephemeral nature of all life as “we’re passing through to a better place.” ONE LESS APPLE basically sums up how the world became what it is through the lens of my small town midwest upbringing coupled with an active imagination while grabbing an apple for lunch one day. SPARROW rounds out the six songs with a quiet appreciation for the simple beauty that surrounds us, a beauty that is at the same time so fragile and vulnerable.

SPARROW is featured in a video Suchi created for the song. She did an amazing job of capturing images that go hand in glove with the lyric and melody and speak to the essence of the song. SPARROW had its genesis in several areas that all came together in this song.

I’ve always been drawn to “His Eye is on the Sparrow” a worn, weathered and wonderful gospel hymn that played a role in the writing of this song. My Mom loved the song and she especially loved song birds. She taught by example and was the “sparrow” that faced at times seemingly overwhelming challenges with dignity, strength, and grace. The concept of the song, "His Eye is on the Sparrow" (written in 1905 by Civilla Martin/lyrics & Charles Gabriel/music), is so powerful. For me, it is the simple acknowledgement of the nobility of all life on this planet and potentially in the universe no matter how insignificant it may appear. “Sparrow” the final song on this record is the coda to the “Cosmic” overview at the beginning.

I’ve never had the answers, but I’ve always had the questions. All I can do is try to be aware of those things that enlighten and enliven me…that wake me up and stir my imagination and give me purpose. COSMIC CIRCUS TENT is 25 minutes of time/music, not Top 40 material, danceable, or background music, all of which are more than fine in their own unique ways. Rather, it is my attempt to slow down, take a deep breath and consider the questions along with the beauty and wonder of it all.

As The BenjaminWaters, Suchi and I hope this album is the first of several recordings we plan to co-create in the future. We enjoy supporting each other and contributing to both our individual projects as well as joint projects for SOULO Records. Suchi, a multi-talented artist, used her gifts to co-produce, sing harmonies, create our music website and the graphics for this album. Recording COSMIC CIRCUS TENT at the Nashville studio of our long-time friend Kirby Shelstad, co-producer/engineer/musician, provided the launching pad for our new beginnings.

We truly appreciate your interest & support and please look for our next TALK-STORY/Blog in February 2020!       ...Tom & Suchi


w/m Tom Benjamin & video / Suchi Waters Benjamin

I'm a sparrow

In this life

I don't sing too well

But I try

I don't soar too high

I don't fly too far

I'm a quiet light

Not a shootin' star

Sparrow . . . Sparrow

I'm a sparrow

I’m glad to be

I can make a home

In any tree


Could have been my name

I can hunker down

Through any hurricane

I'm a Sparrow . . . Sparrow

I like corny dogs

At county fairs

And the cracker jacks

The kids spill there

Popcorn bags

At the old ball park

Under the bleacher seats

When the lights go dark

I'm a sparrow

Not much to see

My looks are plain

You won't notice me

In the city park

By the quick lunch stand

In the winter trees

On a broken branch

Sparrow . . . Sparrow


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