Sometimes the most positive things can come out of pushing through adversity, as it can make you think differently about what is important. Looking for the positive and the green shoots of something new is the theme for this song.
I borrowed the verse melody from a song I wrote around 1993 and some of the lines even made it "there's always something in your mind you can't control, you shouldn't let yourself be trapped against the wall".
At times the biggest barrier to moving forward is your own mind - so faking it until you make it can be a helpful option. Especially when the alarm goes off early in the morning and hitting the snooze button is the natural instinct.
This is my favourite song on the album and seems to get a good reaction when I have played it live. The bluesy guitar riff in the verse came first during writing, and the melody came quite naturally out of that. I like the way the whole arrangement came together moving from the driving kick drum in verses to the country beat in the choruses.
Parenting is the greatest and hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It is easy to think that as parents we are always right - or at least expected to be right. As our son is experiencing things for the first time, as parents we are also on a steep learning curve. My only hope is that our son will experience love in the choices and mistakes we make as grow as a family.
In about 30 minutes this song came together and was one of the last songs written for this album.
Everyone has dusty roads to travel on, some days are dustier than others. It is important to celebrate the small and big wins along the way, because tomorrow another road awaits.
I read a story about a couple who were together when they were younger, ended up having lives with other partners and later in life reconnected. I created a fictional place called Mercey Lane, which is also the name of the song they first danced to (I was originally thinking Mersey - like Mersey beat in England but changed it to Mercey Lane).
Being able to write a story song where the couple get together, fall in love and split up by the end of the first chorus, and then have them back together by the 2nd chorus was satisfying for me as a writer.
Staring Through the Cracks
I was browsing through a newspaper and saw the phrase “Staring Through the Cracks” and immediately saw an image in my mind of somebody hiding behind a barricade peeking through with trepidation, and unable to make a move.
Procrastination can become a reinforced habit if you don’t break out of it - and making no decision is a decision in itself.
High Cost to Pay
One of the first world curses is that capitalism encourages and rewards behaviours that are not always aligned with having meaningful relationships and quality time at home with loved ones. Many don’t have a choice, but I am curious about why those who seem to have lots of choices, sometimes sacrifice family for work.
The intro guitar riff was the start of the writing process, and came from an original song I wrote in 1989 which was enough of a catalyst for a new melody.
My Way Home
Speaking of those who don’t always have choices, this song is about those who have to flee their homes, the feeling of being displaced and looking for somewhere to belong.
I may be fortunate enough to never experience this feeling in my life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have empathy for those who are in this situation. In many cases, people in this situation would love nothing more than to go back home, but if they can’t, hopefully a new community can provide a welcome mat.
Patience is the King of Time
If over planning can lead to procrastination, the opposite end of the scale is rushing to judgement and action without thinking through consequences. I have always leaned towards planning ahead, and slowing down to speed up.
Going beyond getting things done, this also applies to how you go about relating to other people and behaving with positive intent “Choose your language very well - pick your truth it’s yours to tell”.
At the time I was mixing the song I was listening to Mumford and Sons which inspired me to add a light kick drum and tambourine in the choruses.
On this album I have written a lot of songs based on fictional characters. This song is an exception as it is about my dad’s journey through life up until he passed away.
From Ireland, to London to Australia, each step was a journey to a new promised land. I always thought he would go back to Ireland when my mum and dad separated. I’d like to think that in his last subconscious thoughts he did.
This song started with the chorus but a more straight and rocky blues verse (which ended up being the mid section). Once I added in new verses the song had more dynamics and felt like it had a better flow.
Here we have a character who knows the meaning of the word empathy, but struggles to express it without highlighting his own woes. Everyone has their own bag of problems. The most resilient people I know have had to build resistance gradually through experience and asking for help when needed. Quite often they are the least likely to talk about their problems.
How the Story Ends
This song is about me.
Each of the four verses represents 10 year chunks of my life. Looking back in this way, I could see early signs of my personality and character traits play out in my childhood - “the faintest lines drawn in the sand from who I was to who I am”.
I have a pretty good memory but I find as I get older that the details fade away and I am left with more general emotions relating to the key stages of my life.
At the time I wrote the song there was a lot going on in and around our family. The things we love the most can cause us the greatest pain when they change or go away, and I was trying to remind myself that the end of anything is not truly representative of what it once was.
“We lift a burden when we can forgive” - Sean Power - March 2017