bittersweet, Songs, Uncategorized, Video Recording

Song: “The Prize”

“The Prize”

Behind the Song

When I began writing this song, I had a very different idea in mind. I started off with the line “Don’t go picking petty fights / with you people you call friends.” I was going to sing about how easy it is to get angry at the people we love and admire — particularly heroes — when they fail to live up to our lofty expectations.

I’ve felt that way about people I admire. I get all jazzed about a set of ideas they propound …. then I find something I don’t like so much … feel disillusioned … and finally, stew in my piquant juices of anger and judgment. So I thought I’d write a song to myself about it.

But I couldn’t get the song to gel. And as I filled my song journal with different versions, I scribbled down “release your grip / on your painted sword.” Interesting. That led to the image of “armor” — i.e. emotional armor — that we grow in order to protect us from getting hurt.

So I reworked the song top-to-bottom with that idea in mind.

Plus, now I have a song that mentions a sword, armor, and a castle. My ten-year-old self approves.

Just a little on the dark side

Lyrics

You forged a suit of armor
when you were just a child.
It kept you safe from the devils in the wild.

But now you're at the castle,
you've reached your journey's end.
But with that visor down, you can't tell foe from friend.

Release your sword
let it clatter to the ground
there's no enemies around
you're safe and sound.

Strip the armor from your chest
you won't need it anymore
if you wanna fit through that door
that takes you to
the prize.

You say they're out to get you,
that I am just naive,
seeing fairies in my land of make-believe.

But I'm not saying there's no monsters,
I'm not saying there's no pain.
I'm saying you can find companions in the rain.

Release your sword
let it clatter to the ground
there's no enemies around
you're safe and sound.

Strip the armor from your chest
you won't need it anymore
if you wanna fit through that door
that takes you to
the prize.

Let me drop the other shoe:
your love will leave you blue;
sometimes you'll hurt so bad you'll swear you'll drown.
But don't you know that it will pass?
The dark skies never last.
And when dawn comes you'll be glad you stuck around.

Your steed can smell the stables,
it's stomping for a rest.
So drop the reins, and you'll complete your quest.

There's music in the courtyard,
dancing in the hall.
The gate is open, there's no need to storm the wall.

Release your sword
let it clatter to the ground
there's no enemies around
you're safe and sound.

Strip the armor from your chest
you won't need it anymore
if you wanna fit through that door
that takes you to
the prize.
Songs, Video Recording

Song: “All She Left Behind”

“All She Left Behind”

A bittersweet song about unrequited commitment.

Mostly bitter, a little sweet

Lyrics

She's standing at the airport
a carry-on in hand.
The world is waiting for her
to say good-bye to her man.

The ring is in his pocket
he asked her on the way.
She said no, you know I'm no good
when I feel I gotta stay.

The porter's pointing at the sign
the cars are crowding up behind
no time for things he don't know how to say.

He pulls her close into his chest
his arms wrap her up in a little nest
he knows she'll be the first to pull away
he can only take away --

One last touch
for the lonely nights ahead.
One last touch
for the tears he'll never shed.
He asked her for forever
but honey, I'm not that kind
One last touch
is all she left behind.

She promises to call him
once she settles in.
Maybe he can come and visit
she can always use a friend.

The smell of her will linger
when he watches her walk away.
The whiff of perfume she left on his sleeve
to mark her stay.

The porter's pointing at the sign
the cars are crowding up behind
no time for things he don't know how to say.

He pulls her close into his chest
his arms wrap her up in a little nest
he knows she'll be the first to pull away
he can only take away --

One last touch
for the lonely nights ahead.
One last touch
for the tears he'll never shed.
He asked her for forever
but honey, I'm not that kind
One last touch
is all she left behind.
Songs, Video Recording

SONG: We Will Go On

“We Will Go On”

This song is called “We Will Go On.” It’s a tune about relationships; it was me in my 20s imagining what the life-long arc of love is like. I probably had my parent’s marriage in the back of my mind — all the ups and downs, what it takes to love after the fairy-tale romance has worn off. Now that I’m 14 years into my own marriage, I feel like it holds up pretty well.

Continue reading “SONG: We Will Go On”