freedom

Song #34: Disease

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"Of course it don't feel right! What has felt right for you doesn't work! You need to try some wrong, dawg!"  [The 40-Year Old Virgin]

This is a song about tiring of doing good. It's from the perspective of someone who's grown weary of playing by the rules, being spoon-fed other people's expectations and - in keeping with the intent of this project - being in a relationship that is outwardly "right" (in the opinions of others), but inwardly lifeless. After all there are some experiences life holds for those who are adventurous enough to color outside the lines.

PLAY: 

LYRICS: 

I don't want to choose health

I'm living life on my knees

I feel I'm gagging on good

I crave a little dis-ease

Try to wheel me in,

Lock me up in a cell

But I ain't looking for a cure,

I wouldn't pay to be well

 

I feel a wicked, sly smile

crawling up on my face

There's something sick inside

Way down low like the bass

I feel it pulse within

Like the beat of this song

And if lovin' you is right

Well then I want to be wrong

 

They all think they know best

Tell me just what I need

And I played along

For forever it seems

But see I've caught a bug

An infectious disease

And now I see you're just too good,

 t-t-too good for me

 

Does it hurt? Does it hurt when I do this ?

Song #33: Without a String

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Inspiration often shows up unexpectedly. Take this week for instance. A new friend of mine happened to share this quote with me during a conversation:

“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words 'make' and 'stay' become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.” [Tom Robbins]

I knew instantly I needed to use it for song fodder. Almost every image and idea in this song is extracted directly from this quote, put into a blender and spit out as an acoustic reggae-rock sing-along jam.

PLAY: 

LYRICS:

It can't be chained

No telling where it's been

There aren't bars so strong

to keep this outlaw in

Won't play your stupid games

Won't follow any rules

No way to nail it down

Makes wisdom play the fool

 

There is no certainty,

No sure security;

All that is vanity;

It's done without a string.

 

Defies authority,

A statement of liberty,

Will fight until it is free;

It's done without a string.

 

Goes where it wants; don't try to stop it

The best we can do is to be love's accomplice

Song #31: Alexandria

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"Well behaved women seldom make history." [Laurel Thatcher Ulrich]

PLAY:

LYRICS:

You blaze ways with a smile on your face

And when we reach downtown you reach for the paint

Alexandria

 

The street musicians all know your name

And the gamble is certainly worth the game

I'm in love

 

They don't know where to look

She's straight up off the hook

We all just fall in love with Alexandria

She's irresisistable

She's got this certain pull

She'll burn this city down, Alexandria!

 

The town winds down, the lights start to fade

But you can't stop now, that's not how you're made

Alexandria

 

I once asked how she got this way

She just laughed and she walked away

I'm in love

Song #29: Be Free

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There's always another side to the story.

A friend of mine this week reminded me that most "lost love" songs are from the perspective of the one who has been broken up with. What about the one who had to do the heartbreaking?

We often think that the one who ended things is in control and walks off mostly unscathed, but that is far from the truth. It can be a hot mess of emotions for both parties. The irony is - the singer here doesn't hate the person he's breaking up with... not at all. There's still genuine love and concern for the one he's leaving behind. But he also senses that it's not right enough to continue, even as the other person is trying everything they can to keep it from dying.

PLAY:

LYRICS:

don't let yourself believe

this is all easy on me

just because I'm the one who chose to leave

doesn't mean that I missed out on all the guilt and the grief

 

I don't want to be cold but I'm all ice

'cause if I let you in or even just be nice

you get your hopes up

and we both know

that this ain't right

so if it has to be me: I love you, be free

 

the truth is it was killing me to stay

so for now, dear, this is the only way

and though I've nothing bad to say

there's some walls I'm going to have to put into place

 

I don't want to be cold but I'm all ice

'cause if I let you in or just even be nice

you get your hopes up

and we both know

that this isn't right

and if it has to be me: I love you, be free

 

I don't think you're listening to me: I'm done

it was not meant to be, though we had fun

maybe one day you'll see: I still love you...

be free...

Song #28: Strange Love

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“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!” [Jack Kerouac]

It's been said that the opposite of fear is love. And though it's human nature to make the majority of life decisions based (subtly) on fear, I've been lucky enough to know a handful of people who have chosen to live a life that is moved more by the power of love. These are the unique ones: those who march to a different drummer, those who swim against the current and who make their own way. We find ourselves attracted to these people because they do what most are afraid to do: buck convention and make the choice to live freely from passion, or a deep love for life, rather than from conditioning.

This is a strange, unusual little song for those who need the encouragement to live out of that kind of strange, unusual love.

PLAY:

LYRICS:

There's something in the way that we move

Something in the things that we choose

Like how we live as if there's nothing left to lose

That stirs them up inside

 

There's something in the way that we live

Something in the way that we give

The way we turned our backs and took our own path

That gives them hope for life

 

So let the haters be hatin'

This is the road that we're takin

It's not the path they created

Like hell, we just made it

like cheese we be gratin'

On all the nerves of the straight

But don't be jealous or fake it 

We just used what we're made of

 

Watch us rock the stage we give everything we've got

We are everything you want, we are everything they're not

What are you afraid of? Would you like to join us?

So stand up make it known just what it is that you want

All we have is yours and all we have is fun

Then bury all that old stuff; come on now and join us

Those living with a strange love

Song #8: Wild Abandon

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"The whole business of love is to drown in the sea."

[Rumi, 13th century Persian mystic & poet]

I'm starting to see how self-consciousness, fear and reservation are all enemies of love. Sometimes we frown upon people who live wide open and want them to "get themselves together" or to "listen to reason" - but passion can't be reasoned with. I know I've had those thoughts - and I'm starting to wonder if perhaps it's jealousy? This song tells the story of a woman who lives and loves to the fullest... refusing to play it safe... no holding back. I think we all want to be a little more like that.

LYRICS:

reason knows the way

yet she is always lost

reason runs away

but she can't get enough

she's drowning in this love

swallowed up by the sea

 

reason takes a break

she wants to go again

reason shies from pain

she takes it on the chin

she's drowning in this love

swallowed up by the sea

 

and naturally

she just wants to be

swept beneath, yes

reckless and free with

wild abandon, wild abandon

she is the shade and love is the tree

if she ain't free it's all for nothing

wild abandon, wild abandon

 

when reason calls out, "no"

she replies, "I must"

reason turns the nose

her passion is a musk

she's drowning in this love

swallowed up by the sea

 

and naturally

she just wants to be

swept beneath, yes

reckless and free with

wild abandon, wild abandon

she is the shade and love is the tree

if she ain't free it's all for nothing

wild abandon, wild abandon

 

and secretly

we all want to be

swept beneath, yes

reckless and free with

wild abandon, wild abandon

we are the shade and love is the tree

if we ain't free it's all for nothing

wild abandon, wild abandon

 

no holding back, no holding back