“Make Believe” Hayden Desser

"Make Believe" by Hayden Desser is Northern Transmissions Song of the Day
Hayden Drsser photo by Hayden Desser

Hayden Desser, the singer-songwriter who has recorded as Hayden for more than twenty years, has released “Make Believe.” The prolific singer/songwriter describes “Make Believe” as “finding the beauty in truth, the bruised melody acknowledging that as much as we need to stay on the ground and be honest, we will always make things up.”

“Make Believe” is based on a novel written by Hayden’s friend, the writer Colin McAdam. Titled Black Dove, the book will appear in fall 2021. The song was produced by Hayden, and the lyrics were written by both Desser and McAdam.

Desser is currently finishing a new record with producer Aaron Dessner (The National, Taylor Swift, Sharon Van Etten). He’s also been co-writing with Matt Berninger for The National frontman’s solo debut album Serpentine Prison, due this Fall. He’s released eight studio albums, and is the co-founder of Dream Serenade, one of Canada’s most highly anticipated annual concerts, which raises funds for children with exceptionalities and their caregivers by gathering musical talent from all over the world.

We’ll let “Make Believe” tell the rest:

Nothing is really, perfect, not nearly, as some stories have people believe /
Liking one-another is only made harder when these ideas make their way up our sleeves

I remember he told me to once think of a lonely old horse standing up on some hill /
His ribs are all showing, he can’t see where he’s going and his belly’s all covered in filth /
And he just sort of stands there real still

Some folks might want to make believe and give him fake wings and put a horn upon his face /
And have him dance around with fairy dust falling down, and feed him strawberry cake

They’ll make him perfect, but we don’t need perfect /
There’s so much more real beauty, in that sad old horse /
All the memories and of course / the true stories that will always be
much better than make believe

True stories will always be /
much better than make believe