Are You in Love?

February 12, 2018


DEFINITION: Having a tune that is pleasant to the ear; delightful.

Songs are stories set to music that help convey messages and emotions that words alone just can’t communicate. The feelings of St. Joseph residents about their hometown are complex. What community or family isn’t full of diverse experiences, opinions and perspectives? However, every community, at the end of each day, has a choice to focus on its positive or negative feelings.

The St. Joseph Community Branding group and the musicians participating in their creative initiative feel that choosing to focus on, and build upon, the many smile-generating assets of St. Joseph is the best way forward. What better way exists to tell their story than through a song?

“Are You In Love?” is an original love song about, and for, St. Joseph’s residents. Commissioned in the summer of 2017 for the August 4th launch of the new campaign, “Made With Uncommon Character,” the song was written by Simon Fink, a local musician of Under the Big Oak Tree fame.

Fink participated in the early creative conversations about developing a new community brand. A group of a couple dozen creative and communications professionals gathered to ask themselves in various ways what they love about their community and what they feel is worth celebrating. Much of the list they compiled made it into the lyrics. (See lyrics below.)

“I’m hoping the song will help people get excited about the branding campaign and about their town,” said Fink.

“We’re aiming to feature the best aspects of our community and region … starting with its unique people, places, and events of positive character and innovative spirit,” said Christel Gollnick, campaign creative manager. “’Are You In Love?’ is an upbeat Americana song that captures the personality of the region and summarizes what so many people love about living here.”

Kristi Bailey, who leads the community branding initiative, said, “The song tells of St. Joseph’s past and current residents who continually strive to make their lives better. It is for the people of St. Joseph, Missouri … past, present and future.”

Several local musicians made the final production of the song possible: Simon Fink – writer, co-producer, lead vocal, and acoustic guitar; Jason Riley – co-producer, electric guitar, and nylon guitar; Lester Estelle – drums; Craig Kew – bass; Ken Lovern – piano and organ; Jolie Riley – backing vocal; Kristen Hamilton – backing vocal; Matthew Russo – mixing and mastering.

Simon Fink and Jason Riley have been asked to perform a live acoustic version of the song at the campaign’s launch party and the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Annual Banquet to introduce it to the community’s leaders. Part of the instrumental version is being used as the background music for the campaign’s radio and television spots. “Are You In Love?” has also been released online and is now available for download at www.uncommoncharacter.com. It can also be found on Apple iTunes and other popular music distribution websites.

Are You in Love? Lyrics

Words and music by Simon Fink, © 2017 Commissioned for the Launch Party of the St. Joseph Community Branding Campaign. For the people of St. Joseph, Missouri, past, present, future.

Look at the sky Look at the ground Look at the faces Look at the town Are you in love?

Look out at the bluffs That wide, wide river The way it seems like it Rolls on forever Are you in love?

Great houses of old Promise yet untold Old brick peaks up through the blacktop In a whisper They say it’s got character There’s an edge here That’s something I love

They came here from the East Hoping for hope They harvested the earth And stone by stone They made it their home They struggled and strived And some even found love

Booms and busts Fires and rain They hung together when the floods came back again Waiting for the sunlight to shine through the cracks again— And on what had washed away Just tried to give it some love

It’s going to take grit It’s going to take sweat It’s going to take you, me, And everyone we can get I’ll be Roubidoux You be Lewis and Clark I’ll meet you way up on Lover’s Lane After dark

We’ll take the Pony Express I’ll bring the Cherry Mash You be Jesse James I’ll be the bag of cash You be the drummer boy I’ll be the Hawk playing sax You be the tenderloin I’ll be the Saltine Crackers

Look at the sky Look at the town This is the place Where it all went down Are you in love?

Look out over the hills The river, the roads The way they twist and twine And bring us home again They’re bringing us home

Na na na na… Are you in love?


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As an art professor with nearly 30 years of experience, he is more often the student himself as he observes everyday moments and encourages students to express themselves through these artistic mediums.