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An Unfinished Life

Bill Sunkel
Bill & Rob Sunkel



It seems odd to write a Decoder© for a song that has no lyric, but there is a story to this track, and here it is:

“An Unfinished Life” is the instrumental version of “Nothing Is Ever Good Enough.”  When guitarist/composer Tony Cultreri sent me this arrangement – with the idea that I would add my vocal track to it – it sounded so beautiful, so perfect, so complete just as it was, that I couldn’t bear to break its mood.  It took some convincing, but I (or perhaps Tony’s mom) was finally able to persuade Tony that it was perfect “as is.”  Since we had just lost Carl Casella – Tony’s best and oldest friend – we decided that this performance should stand as a tribute to his memory, a meditation on which to conclude the CD.

The title comes from a set of lyrics I started to write shortly after Carl passed:  “Lord, let me live an unfinished life/Don’t let me grow tired of this world before I die/Let there be empty spaces for children to fill/Lord, this is my prayer, let it be your will.”  Ironically – or maybe (subconsciously) intentionally – that particular song remains unfinished.

And the genesis of that verse was this:  When Carl died, at first I lamented that there were so many things he had left to do, so many half-completed projects, so much he still wanted to accomplish in his life (even though his accomplishments were great and varied, including a Grammy nomination for the Broadway cast album he co-produced and engineered in his final, breakneck-paced lap around the sun).  But then I realized that maybe we should all leave our lives unfinished, because maybe that would mean we hadn’t yet wearied of this world, and perhaps even that we had lived life to its fullest.

Yeah, we should all make that kind of exit.