Ann Sweeten
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A Place in the Sun



Click the play button to the left to stream samples or click "mp3" to download.
  1. Shepherd Me mp3
  2. A Place In The Sun mp3
  3. Shades Of September mp3
  4. Castles In The Air mp3
  5. Echoes mp3
  6. Summer Tomorrows mp3
  7. A Pillow In The Sky mp3
  8. The Last Day of April mp3
  9. Ashes mp3
  10. Winding Roads mp3
  11. Twilight mp3
  12. Threshold mp3

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The creation of this album began on January 25, 2002 with the writing of Summer Tomorrows, and what followed was one of the most difficult periods of my life. The songs on this album reflect moments on the journey that began that day. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. While mostly in disbelief or denial, I told few. Instead, I sat down at my piano and wrote. This is my emancipation.

Summer Tomorrows, I see them blowing by
and why does time have to fly?
Fly me, fly me free
Fly me, fly me home,
Fly me, fly me now,
And while I see a Summer Sky,
I hear an Autumn's Sigh.


I was painfully aware of my mortality, the passage of time, how quickly it all was going. I then wrote Echoes, which is a reflection on my childhood, where things like Breast Cancer don't exist... just fairy tales and carefree simplicity...

They're only echoes in my mind,
Which will reveal a time...
A time when the moon was a man
Looking down from above,
While I drift asleep,
To my Mother's lullaby.
They're only echoes in my mind,
Which will reveal a time...
When the moon was a man,
And I was a girl,
Making castles in sand.
Now I am much older,
And time marches by,
Still look at the moon in wonder,
Why, does it all go by,
Why,
Does it all go, by???



I guess a way of dealing with this diagnosis, and its subsequent surgery and recovery was to pour my feelings of fear, sadness and a host of other emotions into my music, where I might find healing. I so needed to be uplifted, to have hope, as these were dark days indeed. My diagnosis was early, thanking God, and my prognosis quite excellent. Still, because of the surgery, I had lost partial mobility of my arm and did my own form of physical therapy to regain it. It was painful, but I always kept hope. I had my wonderful husband at my side and my family of dogs as my daily support group. I was determined that nothing, nothing,was going to get in my way.

I was doing well and preparing for a long treatment of radiation, when ironically, one of my dogs suddenly became ill with an untreatable form of cancer. My poor Niko, died the day before I was to begin treatment. I couldn't write at all for a time . I was heartbroken. It was as if all my efforts to get beyond Breast Cancer were somehow fruitless since I could do nothing to help him. Radiation began. Five days a week. And it was finished, two months later. Now I was "free", until the next oncology exam, the next visit to the surgeon, the next set of mammograms. I was "clean", but they follow you closely, which is good of course; but even though you're "clean", fear tugs at the back of your mind.

I was adament that the production of Sapphire Days, my previous album, would continue along. The concept and cover design were already in place. All the songs had been recorded the previous December (2001), and in late Winter/ early Spring I had also begun writing and recording the orchestration for that album. Shortly after Niko died, Jessie, my last remaining dog, now sixteen, was showing worsening signs of Kidney failure. I focused on her needs, we did everything including IV fluids for months. Sapphire Days was out in November of 2002, and on the listening post at Border's Books & Music for 3 months. My album Reflections had hit #3 on the Radio Charts, Passage had joined it , and my music remained on the charts over a ten month period. And then almost a year since the surgery, I was given a clean bill of health after my first set of mammograms since diagnosis. Jessie died the following Saturday, she was almost 17. It seemed that for every triumph, there was tragedy at its door. It became easy to slip, to slip right into the darkness and I needed light. I needed hope. I was tired, and for all my personal and professional successes, the losses overshadowed me; my dogs have always been at once my children, friends and constant source of unconditional love.

But, I am a Survivor, a Breast Cancer Survivor now, to add to the list, and no matter how desperate times may have been, I have always been able to find what I needed to hold on, even though it may have felt like threads at the time. When you look at dusk, you can say 'how difficult it is to see anything', or you can say, 'wow, look at the last rays of sun and how they hit the earth in such a way'. I believe emphatically that I had help all along the way, in the obvious ways, and in the unseen ways, in the ways the last rays of light caress the earth, magically. I believe that Jessie lived long enough to make sure I was okay. I believe Niko left when he did so I wouldn't worry and would concentrate on getting myself well .

So the journey that began on January 25, 2002 has continued its winding roads; and there are ashes, and echoes, and fears, but, joyfully, there is light. I needed a place in the sun and I send out A Place in the Sun in hopes that you will find within it, hope and strength.

Here's to all Cancer Survivors, to all those who have fought the battle , but could not win the war, and to a cure for once and for all!

With My Heart,
Ann Sweeten

The Last Day of AprilNiko
For our Niko, who died May 1st, 2002

Who could have known
Who could have known
Where you were going ,
so soon...

We took a walk and we held hands
You kissed my face as hours passed like sand...

But on the last day of April
Somehow I think you knew
These were the last times for me and you.

Who could have known
Who could have known
Where you were going,
so soon...

I cracked the door and you'd appear
A needed shoulder, you were always near
A shining spirit and healing touch
No wonder how this hurts so much

And on the last day of April
Somehow I think you knew
These were the last times for me and you.

Our gentle Shepherd and dearest friend
Your memory will never end
And till that day when we meet again,
Your days in heaven, now will spend.

Who could have known...

A.S.


A Pillow in the SkyJessie
For our Jessie, who died January 11, 2003

There are no words,
There are no words...
In time.. they say..
There are no words,
For what I feel..
In time.. they say..
I know better,
Every day will hurt somehow, some way.

There are no words,
For you surpass
Every single state of grace,
Little one Extraordinaire
So many years,
So much of my life
Wrapped behind your eyes,
So much of You,
Wrapped in Me.

I wish for you,
How I wish for you,
And wish for you,
A Pillow in the Sky.

There are no words,
In time..they say..
I know better,
Every day will hurt somehow, some way.

There are no words,
Tapestries of time..
A thousand pictures come to mind,
A million moments aged like wine...
So many years,
And stories
So beautiful and fine,
Your precious soul is
Linked with mine.

I wish for you,
How I wish for you,
And wish for you,
A Pillow in the Sky.

A.S.