This is the story of Emerson and Iris, father and daughter, growing up together. The song was started in 1983, and finished 16 years later.
When the kids were young, most evenings after dinner, Em sat at the dining room table doing office work. After a while, Iris would invariably get out of bed, and sneak down the stairs to quietly visit with him. He usually let her stay for a while to draw pictures, however, only after first feigning reluctance. It was a little game they played. During those late night visits, he began to see that he was working too hard, distancing himself from the family.
Around the same time frame, he began reading and learning more about his creative qualities—aspects that he felt were lacking, hidden or even covered over by his striving. He wanted a different relationship with Cheryl and the kids, one that was more sensitive and caring. Little Iris, unknowingly (or so it seemed) started to jog this into his awareness with her secret visits one night at a time.
Some 16 years later, Iris has grown into a young woman. Emerson grew increasingly more weary and sad about their lost time together. Shortly after she had gone away to college and the house seemed so quiet and lonely, we picked up the partially finished song and completed it together.
Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise
from Never Sleep
track released January 1, 2003
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Tom Tomasello - Producer/Arranger
Jim Bruno - Vocal producer
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering
Inspiration - Iris