Song #20: Rise (and Rise Again)


Remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books? There were multiple directions you could take at the end of the chapters, each resulting in different outcomes. In "Amphetamine" (week 12) the singer, after facing the loss of love, totally gave up, shut down and escaped into fantasy. This week I wanted to write an alternate ending.

What would it look like for someone who had once "climatized to a life of loss" found the inner strength to face the pain, overcome obstacles and, with confidence, tread into an uncertain future? What would it look like to take a once dead heart and set it on fire again?

Musically, I'm not sure how you would categorize this song except for experimental. It's different and won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's what came out.

And besides, if they need a theme song for Rocky VII, I've got them covered.



A place for everything, everything in its place

Got it all locked down; going to hold control over all of my space

Ain't gonna rock the boat, going to minimize the pain,

Chain my desire and lock it all away


Well it's fear that holds me down and feigns as safe

And I have played the role of a passive man all of my days

If I'm ever gonna live, gonna have to put that mask away

And rise up from the ashes and take my place


Rise and rise again,

make a lion from this lamb

There's a battle to fight

A war to be won

I'm here to make my stand

With violence I crush my fear

and step out off that ledge

Though bloodied from battle, I will not run,

I rise and rise again


Well I told myself I'd never love again

After being burned, why would I walk into the fire again?

But the time for safe has ended, and it's ending here, today

I rise up from the ashes and stake my claim

Song #6: The Attic


"Anything worthwhile takes effort."

One of the easiest traps to fall into in life is that slow disintegration into drifting. You know what I mean: it's that place of cruise-control, of reacting instead of acting, of going through the motions. Unless we consciously intend to live and love "on purpose", gravity tends to pulls us into that old sinkhole time and again.

Sometimes we're fortunate enough to get a wake-up call - whether that comes from some sort of internal a-ha moment or perhaps more commonly from an unexpected outside event. In "The Attic", the narrator has just such an experience after stumbling across a box of momentos that had been tucked away.

Musically, this song is a bit unorthodox and experimental. It doesn't follow a normal song format, nor does it really have a hook or even a real chorus. Maybe we could best describe it as "a short story set to music."



brown banged up boxes,

all taped and stacked up

pull one to the ground

and blow off the dust

let's see what I can find...


well, here's that old album

with pictures of us

and scraps of old letters

professing our love

the remnants of a life


I can see what we had

but look how I've been

I guess I just didn't feel prepared for this

It's all passing me by


it's said, life is what happens while we make our plans

remember when we said we'd always hold hands?

(but) the urgent trumped the day, and exhaustion, the night


my God, I have been entrusted with so very much

it's lovely and good but I didn't keep up

somewhere we got lost and failed to try


I can see what we had

but I know what I've been

I guess I just didn't feel prepared for this

somewhere I got lost and failed to try


well no more, no more

from here on I put my best foot forward

I don't want to take you for granted

well no more, no more

it's time that my own heart I restore

I don't want to take you for granted, again


tonight when I see you I'm gonna ask you to dance

and show you I still have the time for romance

I'm still amazed and you should know it


so I restack the box and climb back down the stairs

and find myself grateful for all that we've shared

you have my heart and it's past time I show it