Lori Lieberman’s 19th Album, ‘The Girl and the Cat,’ a Tribute to Moving On

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“It was everything that I wanted to do for me, for me.” 

Recently, in an article with American Songwriter Lori Lieberman opened up about the composition of “Killing Me Softly With His Song.”  After telling her story to the world, she released her newest project: The Girl and the Cat.  The 13 song album encapsulates Lieberman’s intention, representing her both lyrically and musically: The Girl and the Cat, for me, was just a great experience because I wanted to fully express who I am as a musician and a writer without any concept of what could sell and what would be radio ready[…]”  Pulling inspiration from real-life experiences, each song tells a story that impacted Lieberman.  The title song, “The Girl and the Cat,” centers around “a parent’s helplessness while their child, grown, will do what they do. It’s a parent’s, in this case a mother’s struggle to find their own way in light of her child’s choices.” As the first song for her album, Lieberman knew how crucial her involvement was to each step of the process.  “I didn’t want to just ask an orchestrator, you know […]I didn’t want them to just do it and then just give it to me, I wanted to be personally involved in every single note.”

Liberman carried her attention to detail through the entire album in hopes of properly conveying its stories.   “Matha and Me,” based on writer and performer Marian Fontana, details the perspective of a widow of 9/11.  Setting a gentle tone, the song looks at both speaker and Martha as individuals, carrying on separate lives while sharing the bond of tragic loss.

One of her last songs on the album, and one that she is incredibly proud of, “Like Blue,” began as a longing to wake up and reset each day, much like Lieberman’s dog, Blue.  Lieberman was later inspired by a news story that she’d recalled from 2018 reporting a woman getting sucked out of an airplane.  “Why was she the only one of the whole plane, why her?”  The song then evolved into one about letting go of missed opportunities, and moving forward with our chosen paths. Lieberman states: “‘To be on earth, a temporary gift that’s ours from birth/  A momentary time to leave a mark, and to light a match and leave a spark,’ I thought about her for sure in this last verse.” 

Many of the songs on The Girl and the Cat convey a sense of progression.  Lieberman, after finally revealing her truth to the public, sees this new album as a way to take her difficult experience and move forward, truly encapsulating herself as an artist.  “What that meant to me was that I could sit at the piano […] and write songs from my heart, write songs that I’m going through […] I wanted to show myself as a full composer, and that’s what I feel I did, so i’m very proud of it.”

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