Take Up Your Spade

Album: Sun Midnight Sun (2012)
  • songfacts ®
  • A track from Nickel Creek fiddle player Sara Watkins' second solo album, this song was inspired by gardening. "I've always loved farming and gardening analogies to life," she said in her Songfacts interview. "I used to work with my Grandma in her garden and there'd be these berry bushes and weeding things and everything had an analogy to life: keeping your garden clean, keeping the weeds out of your life, all of these things that I keep remembering every time I am out in my yard."
  • Watkins started writing this song in 2010 when she was performing as part of Transatlantic Sessions, a series of concerts broadcast by the BBC and RTE networks. She found these shows wonderfully congregational, and she envisioned a group of people singing on this track when started composing it.
  • Jackson Browne and Fiona Apple sing harmony vocals on this track and make appearances in the video, which features footage from the recording sessions at Zeitgeist Studio in Los Angeles, including shots of Watkins and her producer Blake Mills goofing around playing basketball.

    Watkins has performed with Browne and Apple at the Watkins Family Hour shows she does with her brother Sean at the Largo theater in Los Angeles. Sara has also toured with Browne, and Apple appears on another track from the album, "You're the One I Love."
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' AlbumsSong Writing

With the rise of Kindie rock, more musicians are embracing their inner child with tunes for tots - here, we look at pop stars who recorded kids' albums.

Steven Tyler of AerosmithSongwriter Interviews

Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.

Chris Squire of YesSongwriter Interviews

One of the most dynamic bass player/songwriters of his time, Chris is the only member of Yes who has been with the band since they formed in 1968.

Joe Elliott of Def LeppardSongwriter Interviews

The Def Leppard frontman talks about their "lamentable" hit he never thought of as a single, and why he's juiced by his Mott The Hoople cover band.

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In SongsSong Writing

Songs where something goes horribly wrong (literally or metaphorically), and help is needed right away.