Singer-songwriter goes for the unusual

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By Don Pace

Sage Harrington is living her dream as she performs her songs at venues around town.

The singer-songwriter has a contagious laugh and a quirky sense of humor that she often uses when writing her brand of lyrics.

In the sitcom, “Friends,” one of the unforgettable characters was Phoebe, played by Lisa Kudrow. Some of Phoebe’s song titles were “Smelly Cat,” “Crazy Underwear” and “Cremated Mother.”

With that in mind, you now have a better sense of the kind of lyrics contained in Harrington’s growing list of song titles. 

“Usually I write the lyrics first. Sometimes the lyrics and the melody come at the same time, and I can build off of that. Recently I was walking along the Riverwalk thinking about ants, and wrote ‘Ant Song.’ I then applied a melody, and a piano part to it later. So it works different ways, sometimes there’s a melody first, and sometimes the lyrics come first,” Harrington said. 

Harrington said when she’s performing she notices that people smile a lot. 

“It’s always kind of surprising when I sing a song for the first time, and people start laughing at certain lines that I didn’t necessary expect that anyone would laugh at,” Harrington said with a smile.

Harrington said people often laugh at certain lines in her song, “You Are a Terrible Person.”

“My favorite line in the song is, ‘You are a terrible person, I don’t think it could get any worse than drinking Jack and starting fistfights, and cutting strings off little kids kites. Yes, you are a terrible person.’ After I had written it, I applied it to a certain situation that had happened afterward. I applied it to a person I was angry at,” Harrington said, laughing. “But I had not written it aimed at that person.” 

Harrington plays piano, guitar and upright bass, and comes from a musical family. Her father, Edward, is the band director at Highlands University, mother June is a speech therapist and plays flute, piano, and saxophone, and younger sister Ashlyn is attending New Mexico State majoring in engineering and music, and plays trombone and piano.

“My dad is definitely a big influence. I remember falling asleep in my old house in Ohio, listening to him practice bass in the basement. Actually, it’s become clear to me recently that I’m really following in his footsteps musically,” Harrington said.

Harrington said since she was about 11, she remembers telling her mom that she wanted to be a dancer, actress or a singer. As an adult she says her focus has narrowed toward becoming the best singer she can be.  

“I don’t care about being famous, although I do care about being able to feed myself and live in a comfortable home, so it’s not about being recognized, it’s about the art. I know that is kind of cliche to say that, but for me it is all about becoming a better musician, writing songs I can be proud of, performing and leading a happy life,” Harrington said. 

Harrington plans to continue her music career after graduating from Highlands University in December.

Harrington performs live at the Travelers Cafe on the Plaza on Thursdays from 5-6:30 p.m. and at the La Piedra Grill at the Highlands Golf Course from 5-7 p.m. on Fridays.