Song of the Day: Ben Shive


I get weepy every time I listen to this song. Before the record came out I was listening to this song in the car with Ben and said something like, “Oh, man! The nostalgic music fits the sentiment of the lyric so perfectly! It’s like the two things just” (I clapped my hands) “chonk together!” It was the best I could come up with, fer-klempt as I was.

So here it is, a song from The Ill-Tempered Klavier chosen in light of our recent holiday, “4th of July”.

Words and Music by Ben Shive

The first star of the evening
Was singing in the sky
High above our blanket in the park

And by the twilight’s gleaming
On the 4th day of July
The city band played on into the dark

And then a canon blast
A golden flame unfolding
Exploded in a momentary bloom

The pedals fell and scattered
Like ashes on the ocean
As another volley burst into the blue

But the first star of the evening never moved

We stood in silence
The young ones and the old
As the bright procession passed us by

A generation dying
Another being born
A long crescendo played out in the sky


This nation, indivisible
Will perish from the Earth
As surely as the leaves must change and fall

And the band will end the anthem
To dust she will return
So the sun must set on all things, great and small

But the first star of the evening
Will outlive them all

Andrew Peterson is a singer-songwriter and author. Andrew has released more than ten records over the past twenty years, earning him a reputation for songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. As an author, Andrew’s books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga, released in collectible hardcover editions through Random House in 2020, and his creative memoir, Adorning the Dark, released in 2019 through B&H Publishing.