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Song Spinner: 'Sanctuary' by Cyra Morgan

By Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi

Publication: The Day

Published March 01. 2013 4:00AM

This episode of our Song Spinner series, which takes you into the hearts, minds and hands of local musicians and their creative process, reveals the story behind "Sanctuary" by Cyra Morgan.

BIO: Singer-songwriter Cyra Morgan is a native of Pawtucket and a former University of Rhode Island student. Though she's owned a home in Pawcatuck for nine years, she splits her time between Connecticut and New York City. A lifelong music fan, she only started seriously playing guitar and writing songs in the last few years.

SOUND: Evocative, melodic and confessional folk-pop, with wisps of Lisa Loeb, Cat Power and Sarah McLachlan in her sonic DNA.

HOW "SANCTUARY" CAME ABOUT: A disciple of the "muse will strike" school of songwriting, Morgan says she is often most inspired during particularly emotional times. In that context, "Sanctuary" is an exploration into the idea of literal and metaphorical sanctuary. The first two lines of the song - complete with melody - just popped into her brain: "Can I curl up next to you for a while?"

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: Morgan loved the lines and the idea of an emotional safe house. She says the tune percolated and evolved in her brain for a whole day and came together pretty quickly.

"By bedtime, I had the whole thing," she says.

Morgan admits she's at a fairly rudimentary level in terms of guitar prowess. "I basically know four chords," she says, laughing, "C, G, F and A. So, with the tools I have, I try to change it up a bit. I let the melody do a lot of the work."

NATIONAL EXPOSURE: After submitting a performance video of "Sanctuary" to Guitar Center's Singer-Songwriter 2 competition, Morgan was astonished to learn she'd been selected one of 10 finalists (see accompanying story). She performs "Sanctuary" Saturday night in Los Angeles along with the other finalists; the winner receives, among other goodies, $10,000 and a four-song recording session with multi-Grammy-nominated producer John Shanks.

For more information: cyramorgan.com, soundcloud.com/cyramorgan

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'SANCTUARY' - Words and music by Cyra Morgan

Can I curl up next to you for a while

I'll tell you a joke make you laugh, make you smile

Leave all that chaos behind

Lace your fingers through mine there's a place where

No one will find us, let's go there

And bring all the love we can bear.

If I bury my face in the crook of your neck

Will you take me away, will you make me forget

If I let myself cry will you pull me in tight

Wipe the tears from my cheek

Tell me love it's alright

I've got you

And as I live and breathe

You've got me

And this is all I need.

It's precious, this stolen moment's a blessing

Your head at my heart pressed against me

It's beating its opus for you

If I bury my face in the crook of your neck

Will you take me away, will you make me forget

I feel lost I feel broken but here by your side

All is right with the world and there's no need to hide

I've got you

And as I live and breathe

You've got me

And this is all I need.

You're like starlight

Illuminating the black night

My sanctuary you're soft sigh

So temporary but true

And I've got you

And as I live and breathe

You've got me

And this is all I need.

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