For seven years Brooklyn, New York’s Hawk and Dove have been writing and touring and making community wherever they can. They have just finished their latest album, Our Childhood Heroes, that describes one man’s miracle cure adventure – to address his failing young early onset Parkinson’s brain, while also looking at our generational search for luxury and ease at the expense of other people’s further-away-lives. The LP is available January 18 on vinyl, CD, digital and streaming formats.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of sharing “Dreaming of Flying,” a heart-wrenching, harrowing and beautiful memorial song. This is what the band’s Elijah Miller had to say about it:
“Half of this album is about my father’s search for a miracle cure to address the early onset Parkinson’ s disease that was killing him. After he had gone through every possible choose-your-own miracle adventure chronicled in these songs, it was time to die. The song ‘Dreaming of Flying’ is about the last two weeks of his life, leading right up to the moment of his last breath – which turned out to be quite a tremendous moment of celebration.
“The earliest memory I have of my dad is when I was a toddler. We were walking in a park and we came across a father and son who were trying to fly a kite, but it wasn’t working out so well. My dad took the laces out of his shoe and tied a tail onto their kite, and somehow this worked! I remember thinking he was a real life super hero and could fix anything in the world.
“As the disease progressed, and his movement became more and more limited, my father began to dream about flying almost every night – and he loved it. His body would go through long periods of not working during the day, and so sleep, when it finally came, was a huge relief.
“Toward the end of his life there was a giant, crippling ice storm and flood in Western Massachusetts where he lived. His home became uninhabitable – without electricity and filled with water. Managing his disease became impossible, so an ambulance was called to take him to a nursing home that had generators and helping hands. After a few days there, we took him to a friend’s house, and when we arrived, I told him that we were going to have to find some kind of full-time assisted living situation for him because we were no longer able to keep him alive without additional support – this was crushing to hear, and he asked me to leave the room.
“That’s about when the song starts and it goes through the next two weeks to the moment of his death.
“Anyone who’s been around someone dying slowly knows what a crazy experience it is. At some point the brain is almost entirely gone and the body is just going through slow, labored, terrifying breathing motions. When the final breath was obviously approaching, I remember telling him – yelling encouragement you can do it almost begging him to let go – you can die now. When he finally did – in that moment before the sadness, it really felt like a giant release many, many years in the making – and a true cause for celebration.”