Song Story #7 – This Is Weird…

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The Lord Has Won My Soul

This song…  Is…

Weird…

I did not intend it to be.  I had the title, and the line came from it, “I’m gold, for I know the Lord has won my soul!”.  I really liked it.  It is a play on the passage in Romans 8:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39)

But then, as I was playing it, it sounded too much like an older gospel song we do in worship from time to time, called “Bless the Lord”.  Like this:

Now, I’m not opposed to “borrowing” from songs or songwriters – there is no original thought.  And I am sure I sound like a pale comparison of my favorite artists.  But this was just too close for me.

So I decided to scrap the song, and instead use it as an odd transition piece.

The last song, “Shedding My Skin” , ends with a hallelujah chorus, because the subject of the song is finally free from the shackles of life on earth and are before their heavenly Father.

So I thought it appropriate to get ridiculous and praise the Lord as ridiculously as I could.  I mean – when I’m before Him, won’t I be filled with awe and wonder?  And – with COMPLETE PRAISE?  I mean, no holding back, I’m before YOU, LORD!  HALLELUJAH!

So – I thought, why not?  Why not make it completely weird?

Why not put peacocks in the song…

And it transitions right into the last song on the record.  More to come on that one…

See, I like to make complete records, not just collections of songs.  So it’s important to me that they flow in some way.  Whether that be stylistically, or thematically – I want to try and create a story with my records.  I don’t know that anyone else would get that?  But that is my goal.  So – given that, this song ain’t so weird.

And who is Joe Pyeweed anyway?  More on that some day in the future…  😉

The Lord Has Won My Soul

Song Story #6 – Shedding My Skin

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Shedding My Skin

Odd title, I know.  Odder still, if I tell you this song is about death?  And why would one want to talk about death, on the eve of Thanksgiving???

Death is one of the few guarantees we have in life.  It’s the most painful, terrifying thing.  We have NO CONTROL over it.  And we like control, don’t we?

I came up with this title 23 years ago, when my grandma passed away (she drew the picture you see above, by the way – I have it framed in my studio).  See, when my grandpa died in 1988, I watched my grandma turn from this feisty, firey, sweet old lady, into a depressing, depressed person just begging to die.  My memory of her may differ from others?  But I distinctly recall her saying, more than once after my grandpa’s passing, “I’m sick.  I’m dying.”, in a “life sucks” tone.  This was not her prior to his death.  Not to me anyway.

But I also remember, in her last days while in the hospital, a sense of renewed LIFE!  The last time I saw her, she looked younger than she had, maybe ever in my life.  Like she had shed her skin, and a new Grandma was there!  She was glowing, and vibrant.  So beautiful… Then she was gone…

So I wrote a song, trying to capture that.  I can’t remember much of the original version I wrote so many years ago, other than the chorus, which I used to write this one.

This new version is about those dear loved ones, who are left behind.  Specifically a spouse.  See, much like my grandma, who lost her life when she lost her husband, I have witnessed the same or similar in my own mother and mother-in-law.  It’s so sad to see…  Yet, at the same time, so beautiful…  You see how these couples really were “two becoming one”, when you see that person left without their life-long love…

The death of a long-time spouse – your lifetime friend, lover, confidant, basically YOU – that death is the death of two who had become one.  I’m describing this as one who has witnessed it but never experienced it.  I wonder if I have it even close to right?  But that is what I was trying to capture in the writing of this song.

And also, the ultimate freedom that comes in our physical death – for those who are in Christ Jesus.  The lines, “To be with you, I’d give everything just to be with you”, were written from the perspective of my mother saying this to my father who had passed on.  But personalized by my desire to be with my Jesus.  I’d give it all up – my wonderful family, the life he’s blessed me with here, my own wife – all of it – to be with Him now.

Who have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You…

This is my favorite song on the new record.  The beauty and sadness in the lyric.  The fact that I accidentally stumbled upon a Phil Collins vibe in the music (I’ve spoken about my obsession with Mr. Collins before, so it may not come as a surprise when I say, this was a treat for me), the chanting crescendo of “Hallelujah” at the end of the song.  I hope I don’t sound braggadocios when I say, I love this song…

And I hope you will too…

Shedding My Skin
I’m so alone
Nobody knows
Nobody understands
I’m waiting to die
Cause maybe then I would matter
At least for a little while

And to be with You…
To be with You…
I’d give everything just to be with You…

Why am I waiting?
Why am I here?
Why can’t I remember…

That oh, I’m shedding my skin
I’m ready to live again

I’m less than normal
I’m less the free
Trapped in this bag of bones
I’m searching for comfort
I’m waiting to die
So maybe I’ll live again

And to sing to You…
To sing to You…
I feel so alive when I sing to You…

Why am I waiting?
And I’m still here praying
“Lord, help me remember”

That oh, I’m shedding my skin
I’m ready to live again

Hallelujah…

Shedding My Skin

Song Story #5 – This Is the Soundtrack For My Heartbreak

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This Is the Soundtrack for My Heartbreak

I wrote about this song already as well, as I had released it prior to the record.  This is my attempt at writing a cool, hip, up-to-date pop song.  I sounds in no way cool, hip, or up to date.  But I do like how it turned out.

Two things I remember, as I dropped my daughter off in Seattle, over a year ago.

  1.  I balled my eyes out, the night before.  I was in a hotel room with her, so I had to wait until she fell asleep, and then cry as quietly as possible.  I am not a big cryer – so this was all weird to me.
  2. I recall the next morning, the breakfast before – while we spent a few days together, had a wonderful time, chatted away – and generally did and do chat away normally – I couldn’t think of a single thing to say.  So I asked dumb questions, brought up dumb topics.  I’m sure the poor girl was thinking, “When is he just gonna drop me off already?”

I remember when I left the house, and how that relationship you have with a parent – changes…  I now know what my mom was going through, with each kid.  🙂

I am bummed that I cut the first nano-second of the song, as I was editing.  Ah well, is what it is.  🙂

This Is the Soundtrack for My Heartbreak
Sunday morning, waiting for words
The last chance to pour out
Sitting silent
Can’t think of a thing to say to you
Why can’t I say

All the things I wanna say
All the things I never say
All the things you needed to hear me say

You’re moving out, you’re moving on
Will you ever be home again?
The bird is flown and the nest is alone
And I don’t know how to deal…

All the things I wanna say
All the things I never say
All the things you needed to hear me say

This is the soundtrack for my heartbreak
And I just can’t seem to turn it around
This is the backdrop for your breaking out
And I never thought I’d have to say

I’m not ready…

This Is the Soundtrack for My Heartbreak

Song Story #4 – I’m Sorry

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I’m Sorry

This is another song I re-did.  I wrote this song like four years ago or so.  It’s about my time “raising” my kids, while I was a new divorcee, with a sole desire of seeking worldly pleasures.

Now “sole desire” is a bit strong.  Or was it?  Sure, I loved my kids.  I was super thankful that I had them 1/2 of the time.  But even that – 1/2 of the time – kinda really sucks.  For me, for their mother, sure.  For them – DEFINITELY.

And even on my 1/2 of the time, I was thinking about my free time.  Parties, drinking.  I was tired.  I was not there, even when I was there…

Heck  – even before my 1/2 of the time, I wasn’t really there…

And my kids suffered for it..

So this song – was originally my way of saying to them, “Please forgive me, I know I’ve wronged you.”.  But it ended up so much more.

I’ve played this song at shows in the past, and it always opened the door for me to talk about my past, and how I affected my kids.  And I’d plead with those who were the child in there own divorce situation (their past, or even going through it now) – to hold on.  Because God has their back, even if their parents don’t in that moment.  And I’d beg those who were “me”, the ender of the marriage, to consider the impact of a decision like this.  See – most people who get a divorce, are not thinking of the long-term impact.  They may like to think they are – but they are not.  They are mostly thinking of themselves.

  • I know a statement like that is a generalization, and it may not fit every situation.  And then some don’t have a choice, they are the left behind in a divorce (Much like the children).  But bear with me – if we talk in broad strokes, most divorces are convenience divorces
  • If this doesn’t apply to you, please don’t take it personally.  If you were left behind, or had to leave due to abuse or infidelity (which is also abuse), then know my description doesn’t apply to you.  And I mourn for you as well…

So this song, just fit the theme of this record.  I decided to re-record it.  The original was more of a piano piece, with a pseudo-techno beat.  I played this more straight on guitar this time around, as I had played it live (I can’t really play piano well enough to play it live – so even my piano songs end up on guitar live).  I really like how it turned out musically.  I hope you do too!

I know it’s a deep, depressing, sad topic.  I want to reiterate – my intent with this entire record is NOT to depress anyone.  And I don’t want to keep dwelling on all the ways I have sucked it up.  I don’t do this to make me, or anyone else, out to be the villain.

I do so to show there is hope, even for the most hopeless, in Christ.  If at all this resonates with you, then praise God!

I’m Sorry
For all the times I’ve made you feel like you were anything but precious to me…
I’m sorry…
For all the times I cast you aside, ’cause I had other things on my mind…
I’m sorry…

I’m sorry that I let you down…
I’m sorry that I broke your heart…
Can’t live with “what if’s” anymore
Let’s take it back to the start

For times I forgot about you…
Left you alone to figure out what to do…
I’m sorry…
For all the times I stole your joy…
You were too young to know anything else…
I’m sorry…

I’m sorry that I let you down…
I’m sorry that I broke you heart…
Can’t live with “what if’s” anymore
Let’s take it back to the start

I’m Sorry