sadness

Song #42: Disappear

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"A mighty pain to love it is,
And 'tis a pain that pain to miss;
But of all pains, the greatest pain
It is to love, but love in vain."
[Abraham Cowley]

LYRICS:

Look at me,

I've got my shit together

I am a winner, a picture of health

but what no one sees deep below the surface

is a cavern, the cold hard walls of a well

 

For a time I was better, well on my way

A little bit stronger, a little more life each day

But all the momentum I thought I had gained

slows to a halt when someone speaks your name

 

Sometimes I wish you'd disappear

So maybe I could find peace this year

But I know as sure as I sit here

That I don't mean it

 

When you both live in the same small town

You can't help but see each other around

I have that old crusty wound that almost heals

But then I catch your eyes and it all at once starts to peel

 

Sometimes I wish you'd disappear

So maybe I could find peace this year

But I know as sure as I sit here

That I don't mean it

 

As much as I would like to move on,

it ain't happening

But if I can pretend that you're gone,

there's a respite from all the battling in my mind

 

Sometimes I wish you'd disappear

So maybe, maybe I could find peace this year

But I know as sure as I sit here

That I don't mean it

 

...but most times I wish you'd just appear

And wreck all of my plans for this year

Cause when I said my love was sincere 

Well, I still mean it

Song #23: Not Enough

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Over the past few weeks, I've had conversations with two men - one who is going through a divorce and another who recently did. I kept hearing the same two themes emerge: one, that they were both trying everything they could to do the right thing, hold their marriages together and to show love even as their (ex-)spouse was struggling and/or being destructive; and two, that because their efforts weren't being accepted, it dealt such a heavy blow to their self-worth. Since in this project I had promised to explore all of the angles of love, I felt drawn to flesh out this experience in song, as difficult as that may be.

This was a hard song to write and I'm sure is a hard one to listen to. It's not unlike watching Requiem for a Dream - sitting through it once is probably enough. I had to go deep and get to an emotional space that I've known very well but not really wanted to return to. That said, the purpose of this piece is not in any way to glorify a defeated and self-doubting perspective; in time people move out of this stage and realize their worth is independent of their circumstances. Rather, this is a "snapshot" in time, a musical picture of a dark and raw reality... for the sake of artistic observation as well as catharsis. Almost like being physically ill, sometimes it's only by purging the darkness through expressing it (in writing, in song, in conversation) that we make room for the light and life to return again.

PLAY:

LYRICS:

She is fading, she's fading fast

And I've felt hurt before, but no hurt quite like this

'cause I see her hanging, she's just hanging on

In my strength, all i have; dear just please take my arm

And I know I can't save you

don't pretend I can

But I can't just stand by and

not extend a hand

 

But part of me

Hates the part of me

That gives a shit at all

 

She is struggling, she's scraping by

But she's too damned hardheaded to let me by her side

I am trying, maybe I should stop

When your love is unwelcomed, when do you finally give up?

 

My shit is not enough (for you)

It is not enough

My love is not enough

My time... not enough

My care... not enough

Love is not enough for you

Love...

Let Me Tell You A Story...

One of the cool things about this project is the ability to be a storyteller. In writing 52 songs over the course of a year, there's no possible way for them to all be "about me." It's true that some of my personal experiences will color my writing, but I look at each song as narrative. Each will have it's own characters, it's unique perspective, it's own rules: in essence, each composition is a microcosmic universe. When you read a novel, the author may have his or her voice, but the contents of the novel are separate. My angle on songwriting this next year will be similar in tone.

A friend of mine recently told me that he heard a musician say, "When I found out that every song I write doesn't have to be about me, it changed everything." So I look forward to stepping out of my own shoes and into those I've never been in before - those of friends, of archetypes, of myth, of people I see around me - and to see what can be uncovered as it relates to the topic of love.

I'll be posting my next song (or should I say 'story') tomorrow night. It's a bit of a doozy but I think it turned out beautifully. As my 6-year-old daughter said, "That's the saddest song I've ever heard. Turn it off, Daddy, I'm going to cry."  So I guess you have THAT to look forward to... ;-)

 

Song #1: Witness

We all want to be seen. A woman, especially, wants to be noticed, known, understood. This is ultimately the purpose of a relationship: to co-create life; to partake in life's depth of experiences with another. As Christopher McCandless said in Into the Wild:

Happiness is not real unless it is shared...

PLAY:

CLICK HERE to download this song for free

LYRICS:

there will be times
times when you cry
when find yourself alone in the night

there will be days
when your beautiful smile
will light up the night sky like a fire

there will be days
with all you hold inside
you'll long for a man      
to come along your side
and that's where you'll find me
I want to be the witness to your life


when that old movie makes you laugh
when you can't believe what you've just seen
when you have a dream that no else believes in

when your heart, it takes a hit
when you just don't give a shit
when you look at your life wonder, "Is this it?"

there will be days
with all you hold inside
you'll long for a man      
to come along your side
and that's where you'll find me
I want to be the witness to your life

you are seen
you are noticed by me
you are lovely

when you slide on that dress
and fix your hair just right
when you spend all that effort and that time

I want to be there right behind you
look in the mirror and smile too
and gently whisper, "sexy girl you're fine,
you're beautiful and I'm proud to call you mine
I'm so lucky; I get to be the witness to your life"