Nfld. & Labrador·Video

Soundtrack of your life: St. John's card designer uses local lyrics from 1990s

A St. John's designer uses local song lyrics from the 1990s and some whimsical imagery to turn out greeting cards that are anything but cookie-cutter.

Cards cause flashbacks for Generation Xers

1990s lyrics inpsire greeting cards 1:45

The 1990s were a special time for me. An odd time, but a special one.

Generation X did its best to shake off the dust left behind by the 80s and I did my best to try and keep up.

You could smoke just about everywhere, St. John's was the furthest thing from a tourist destination and it seemed Fur Packed Action played somewhere every weekend.

Long before American Apparel and Urban Outfitters ruined many things, youth like myself scoured the Salvation Army racks for plaid shirts, trench coats and ironic tee-shirts to go to their show (or the countless others promoted by the band by plastering poles with posters rather than a faceless Internet invite).

The downtown music scene was the lone chance to show off your second hand fashion to a soundtrack that played to countless hours of my good times.

Jeremy Eaton, circa 1999. (Jeremy Eaton)

High on life, or Ross Rebagliati cigarettes, it seemed every bar downtown overflowed with toe-tapping, flow-dancing music fiends Friday and Saturday night — a haze of smoke hanging over the sweaty crowds — one that grew a deeper blue with each exhale of Du Maurier Kings.

I'm sure all over the city there are photo albums collecting dust, filled with pictures of some of these shows. I am sure I have some snaps in a shoebox in my mother's basement.

Cards cause flashback

It's a time that lives in hazy memories and the music left behind by it. I hadn't thought about that time of my life much lately.

Until I walked downtown sipping a coffee on sunny day. Displayed in the window of Twisted Sister sat a simple greeting card.

"Forgive me and I'll forgive you. In a small town what else are we going to do?"

Fur Packed Action.        

Fur Packed Action, the band that entertained Jeremy Eaton, and lots of others during the 1990s. (Meghan Fahey)

Naturally I bought one. Then I had to figure out who had put the lyrical genius to paper.

Turns out it's the work of Meghan Fahey. A crafty St. John's music fan employed at By Sharpe Design; an event decor business where she helps with paper products for weddings. But that's not all she's into.

She told me she's been making cards for more than a decade.

"For about twelve years now, but it's only recently, the last year, that I've started to sell them in stores downtown. It's always been a goal of mine. Recently I've started selling at Posie Row, Twister Sister, Magic Bean toy store and By Sharp Design"

Not cookie-cutter

These cards aren't cookie-cutter, Hallmarked and mass-produced.

"There's a lot of whimsical designs. I have one design that's really popular, it's called 'You are Hotter Than Sriracha.' Then there is another one, it's a little sherbert in a cup. 'Go Shawty, it's Sherbert day.'"

Fahey also uses whimsical images in her designs. (CBC)

Fahey decided to mix in another passion — music. Specifically local music. Fahey told me she's been a fan of the downtown scene since 1993.

"A lot of the bands that I love are no longer playing and I kinda wanted to have their lyrics to live on a little bit. I wanted to share those snippets of wisdom and kind of relatable quotes with other people"  

You won't find just Fur Packed Action.

Fahey quotes The Liz Band, Jerry Stamp, and Colleen Power to name a few. More artists and quotes are coming — when the time or season is right.

She's also waiting on the go-ahead from other bands to add more one line wonders to her Local Lyrical Card series.

"Sometimes it's just lyrics that have stuck with me over the years. Sometimes it will be just something that I am listening to and I didn't even notice before and I think that will be great for other people to hear"

Personal favourites

As we sat in the room she creates in, I had to ask if she might like one a little more than the others.

One of my favourites, she said, is the Fur Packed Action quote that stopped me in my tracks. 

Forgive me and I'll forgive you. In a small town, what else are we going to do?- Fur Packed Action

"That lyric comes from a song called 'Summer of Love' which actually has a plethora of gems. I could have the series on that song alone"

Fahey says all the bands and musicians have been very supportive of her unique card series. Lyrics now living on, still turning heads and making people think.

"A lot of my cards aren't really geared towards an occasion or anything like that, the lyric cards in particular. They're more about something you see and you're like... 'ah, yup. That's so true' and you wanna pass that along to someone else who gets it"  

Fahey says bands like Fur Packed Action are pleased to see their lyrics recycled. (Meghan Fahey)







 

About the Author

Jeremy Eaton is a reporter and videojournalist with CBC Newfoundland and Labrador.

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