Song of the Day: Ben Shive


In the very odd case that you have yet to be convinced that The Ill-Tempered Klavier is the best non-rap record ever to contain the word Ill, I submit today’s Song of the Day as evidence and hope you will be persuaded.

“New Year” is the sort of song I can’t help but listen to over and over again and I usually end up imagining a future movie in which it will be the soundtrack to a montage of a middle-aged guy cleaning his house, watering his plants, hugging his kids, finishing his long toiled-over first novel, baking a pie, dancing in the rain, delivering a newborn calf, beating Apollo Creed in a foot race, and most likely joining an inner-city chorus line as fireworks erupt and people in a hundred countries across the globe spontaneously break into song, hold hands, and offer to buy each other a coke. Just listen to it, you’ll see.


Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


  1. Lee Younger

    My wife was just saying that the thing she loves about this song is that it sounds like the theme to a really awesome 80’s sitcom… like the one with Tom Hanks where he used to dress up as a woman before becoming the greatest actor of all time.

    nice work ben. everyone in my house loves your record and 4th of July is my five year old’s favorite song right now… she knows every word and loves it because “it sounds sad but beautiful.”

  2. Josh Kennedy

    As long as that coke is a Dr. Pepper I’m right there with you Pete.

    Yeah, after hearing this last song I’ve decided to take some serious action and buy this disc. From the three songs I’ve heard off this album I’ve been blown away at Ben’s ability to create these amazingly rich melodies and evoke these complex, meditative moods that suck you in and hold you captive throughout the last note. I guess I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

  3. Nate

    I love this song. It makes me feel happy and sad at the same time.

    On a completely unrelated side note, when is Randall Goodgames new song “The VP Was A Lady” coming out?

  4. Ryan

    What I love about this song is that, even though it’s not my own, it reminds me so much of how I felt growing up. I love the line “feeling so funny I forgot to laugh”. It’s that weirdness of changing and figuring out who you are and what this life is all about. What an amazing writer and musician. Keep it comin’ Ben!

  5. Peter B

    Ryan, I think that’s ’97.

    Pete, great pick — but then again, anything off this album would be excellent fare. All I can say to you latecomers is “find a way to get the bonus tracks”. Seriously, that first one… man.

    I need to start playing this for my kids, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to burn a CD from it that will actually play in a CD player that’s not in a computer. Weird.

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