The Robe

He grabs his case, packs it full, does it quickly
Takes some photos from the shelf, reminders of the life we shared
He takes his robe, his second skin, and turns to go
Suddenly there is space for me, room to breathe,
Time to think of just myself

And I know that, I am ready to be alone
I am excited to, begin again, to start anew,
So I’m gonna risk it all be
I know I’m stronger on my own
I am going to take a breath I’m going to smile again
I don’t need him anymore -

He used to live there on the couch in the basement
He’d be watching the tv, he’d have no room or time for me
He used the big, green bowl, for his snacks
Only moving to fill it up again
Always clinging to that robe

And I know that, I am ready to be alone
Excited to, begin again, to start anew,
So I’m gonna risk it all
I know I’m stronger on my own
I am going to take a breath and smile again
I don’t need him anymore

Out the door, he took some pots and pans
His jazz records in his hands,
I guess he’ll be back for more
Down the street, and the car drove out of sight
As the leaves blew down, on that October night

And I know, that I am ready to be alone
I’m anxious to,begin again, to start anew,
So I’m gonna risk it all
And I know that, that I’m stronger on my own
I’m gonna take a breath and laugh again,
I don’t need him anymore

And I know that I can make it on my own
I will be full of joy once more and find the truth
The truth that I’ve been search-ing

  • Jackie Andrea Kroczynski
  • Jackie K
    Name of Band or Artist
  • Project Type:
  • Length:
    4 minutes 12 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 21, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
  • Student Project:
Artist Biography

“It’s important to always remember to look for the little things,'' says Jackie K, on her new EP that was released on November 26th, 2021, an album she recorded at Riverdale Recorders in Edmonton. “During stressful times, it’s even more important to find moments of gratitude.”

Her new EP, Look for the Little Things, came from a desire to get out of the house and dream of spring. The optimistic “Dandelions Everywhere” was written with Evelyn Saungikar (Toronto) over ZOOM in the dead of winter last February. The song features ukulele, 12-string guitar, and tenor sax. “Dandelions everywhere/Now the snow has gone/They tell me better weather’s coming on.”

With a variety of influences ranging from Brandy Clark, Elvis Costello, The Band and Diana Krall to songwriters Ron Sexsmith, Tom Waits and Nancy Griffith, (and her love of “everything Jazz’), Jackie has a diverse group of influences. Some of which can be heard in the off-kilter waltz “Green Heals Me”. “Green Heals Me” is the second in a trio of songs about the out-of-doors. It shows Jackie looking at the backyard through happy and tired eyes. Producer Sean Davis Newton incorporates a variety of atmospheric effects through the entire album, and his use of tape delay here ties beautifully with the sounds of the vibraphone and Jackie’s Thelonius Monk-inspired piano solo.

“In My Oasis” is a summary of the trilogy of outside songs. “I had received a big red teacup filled with purple flowers, a gift for Mother’s Day, from my kids,” she begins, “another reminder of the little things”. Phil (drums) and Tom (bass) do a great job to kick the energy level of this tune up in the last section. Connor (tenor sax) adds horn lines to give it a bit of a seventies, Steely Dan vibe.

Night at the Opry” was re-recorded for her EP release. Jackie’s “beautiful composition and voice” helped this song rise up the Canadian Indie Country Countdown Top 100 to #4 in February 2021. Jackie was inspired to write this song as a tribute to her father after visiting the Grand Ole Opry on a band trip with 30 students in March 2020.

Unexpected instrumentation often brings genres together in Jackie’s music . The guitar, fiddle, and Jackie’s “warm, expressive vocals” are beautifully supported by a tenor saxophone solo in “Night at the Opry”. Jackie’s “great arrangement of instrumentation” included accordion, muted trumpet, and scratching sounds amidst a bluesy vibe to tell the painful story of “Nurse Jane”. A spooky story of a troubled nurse who worked at the tuberculosis sanatorium in Fort San, Saskatchewan.
Jackie is continuing to write music to prepare to record a new EP later this year. She has taken part in several songwriting workshops via SongStudio in Toronto in 2021, and looks forward to doing two more in 2022. Eric Alper (Toronto) has just come on board as Jackie’s Publicist and she is very excited about what this year will bring. She is really hoping to get out and play more live shows this year!

Jackie will be playing at She-Nanigans on March 4, with the Chickadee Songwriting Circle. Jackie also just finished recording a segment for Telemiracle 2022, and recently played the “Unplugged” show on CJWW Radio in Saskatoon. In October 2021, she had the great pleasure of performing for Colonel Chris Hadfield with her band, Jivin’ Jackie & Big Baby T, a group that celebrates the music of New Orleans.

Jackie is a recent recipient of a grant from Creative Saskatchewan that she will be using for Marketing and Export. When she isn’t writing or performing, Jackie teaches band and guitar to high school students at North Battleford Comprehensive High School. Jackie holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art. Jackie is a member of SaskMusic, SOCAN, BMI, SAC, and the Americana Music Association.

Add Artist Biography
Artist Statement

I’m a lifetime musician and music educator, playing piano since the age of four. I grew up in Saskatoon, and I loved playing in the band at school and chose a career as a band teacher and arts educator. I have been teaching music in elementary and high schools for twenty-three years.

I want to be the kind of musician that when people hear my songs they think, “oh, yeah, I know what she means.” Music is such an important way of communicating. But it doesn’t need to be literal. It’s about the feeling of the music as well as the story. For example, how does the performer choose to utilize the mic, so we can hear the emotion in the voice? Or the chords that ring and resonate that leave our minds to drift and wander and absorb? Music is one of the most affecting things for people, both as performers and listeners.

I hope that my music will resonate with my listeners. I want them to come away with a good feeling of something that they recognize. A reminder of a person, place or experience that we share.

I like writing music about the things that are just part of everyday life. I like using an interesting combination of instruments to clarify the storytelling and add a variety of voices. My sound is a blend of many influences: Americana, my parents' old records, my trips to New Orleans, playing traditional Irish music and playing my trumpet in a jazz band. Writing music fulfills a desire to tell a story, to communicate, and to empathize and engage with a listener. I want to come to a shared understanding with a listener through sound, through lyrics, through the art of performance and conversation.

I can hear the changes and growth in my songwriting as I get older. My perspective has shifted and my experience has grown. I have insights that I didn't have as a younger musician. Music is so often a way of saying things that we aren’t able to speak out loud. The music speaks for us when we aren’t able to speak for ourselves.

In the end, both as a performer and a conductor, my best moments have always been the moments when I know that I have communicated deeply with listeners, when there is a moment of collective silence after a song or loud appreciative applause. It’s when the musical story resonates and connects people. This is what I hope to do with my writing: connect with people.