NEWPORT — Last fall, when Tod Pronto stepped out on the stage at the Haskell Opera House, he brought with him a very personal song to share with the audience. The song was called “Hide Away (From the Sun).”
With the first strum of his acoustic guitar the packed house went silent. The audience hung onto every word of this touching song he had recently penned for his mother.
“Eskimo kisses and a faded smile is my last memory to hold onto for a while,” he sang.
As a child, Pronto’s mother used to give him “eskimo kisses” before bed almost every night. It was the last thing he gave back to her before she passed.
Pronto lost his mother to a rare form of cancer. Pierrette Marsh was born on April 29, 1953 and passed away on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. “Pret,” as people called her, was a much loved member of the Newport community.
She was a cosmetologist who owned and operated Pret’s Beauty Shop in Newport for years. When she received her teaching degree she was hired by the North Country Career Center, where she helped develop the Cosmetology Program from the ground-up.
“She loved teaching and being with her students and was very proud of her work at the school,” Pronto said. “She was very kind and would help anyone in need, lend an ear and always had a smile.”
Hide Away (From the Sun) continued to be performed by Pronto out on the road, and it quickly became the song most people resonated with and would ask him about. So he decided to release it as a single instead of waiting for his new album to be finished.
“It’s sad to say, but almost everybody has been affected by cancer in some way, and if I was able to tap into that emotion then I’m glad I could in my mother’s honor,” Pronto said. “She was the strongest person I will ever know. She fought for almost ten years. I wanted to honor her and the only thing I really know how to do well is write songs.”
The song itself only took Pronto about 20 minutes to get down, describing the songwriting process as being something that just “poured out” of him.
“I remember I tuned my guitar down to a drop D tuning and threw a capo on the guitar and the song was done,” he said. “I really believe that my mother had a hand in making this song come to life. I never needed to tweak the arrangement or anything. I knew that it needed no more or no less.”
Today Pronto has released the single, as well as a beautiful music video that was filmed at one of Pret’s favorite spots, Seymour Lake.
The single can be purchased through iTunes.
For more details go to www.todpronto.com .
Music video note:
The video was shot by Paul Barnard. Barnard has a long history in filmmaking, and after a number of films across North America he settled in the Northeast Kingdom where he does videos on the side. He is the owner of North Mountain Financial.