SW​​:​​S Retreat - May 2016

by SongwritingWith:Soldiers

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    Our retreats pair professional songwriters with veterans, military families and couples, and active-duty service members to write songs about their military experiences and returning home. Bill Auger, Erin Calabrese, Barry Fetterolf, Deven Merritt, Monique Arrucci Page, Beau Pendergraft, Andrew Pigg, Daniel Piña, and Tom Volcheck participated in the May 2016 retreat.
    These songs are their stories and are recorded on site at retreats. They capture a song just hours after being written, like the song taking its first breath.
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1.
DON'T HOLD BACK Tom Volcheck / Gary Nicholson I don’t hold back You're gonna get every bit of me No honey, I don't hold back You're gonna get every bit of me You gave me my chance Now you're gonna find out just how good a man can be I can't promise you that someday You may wish for something more But one thing I can promise You'll never be bored I don't hold back You're gonna get every bit of me Yeah you gave me my chance Now you're gonna find out just how good a man can be She's a pole dancing, Harley riding, red-headed woman Raisin' babies Waitin' tables She said I'm gonna give you all the lovin' I got Over and over, mister if you're able Cause I don't hold back You're gonna get every bit of me She said I don't hold back, boy You're gonna get every bit of me Yeah, you gave me a chance Now I'm gonna show you just how good a woman can be Well she'll sleep out in the woods Loves the open air If some critter smells her cookin' Lord, I'm sorry for the bear She'll chop the wood, to build the fire To cook the trout she caught that mornin' Don't dare criticize her cornbread Brother take this as a warning She don't hold back Always gives it everything No, she don't hold back She's the lovin’est woman I've ever seen No, I don’t hold back You’re gonna get every bit of me Oh, I don't hold back You're gonna get every bit of me You gave me my a chance We're gonna find out just how good love can be You gave me my a chance We're gonna find out just how good love can be © 2016 Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing/Gary Nicholson Music (ASCAP)
2.
THAT'S HOW EVERY STORY STARTS Erin Calabrese / Terry Radigan 80 miles an hour Front door, full stop Deep breath Heart drops, door knocks I’ve gotta find my place of peace An open field, a rolling river, it’s where I cease The touchstone between my finger and thumb My touchstone so I don’t come undone You might think this story’s free But it cost me dearly (cost me dearly) I get the get But you don’t know how it’s given (how it’s given) I’m just the taker Wanting, Hoping, Praying To be forgiven (to be forgiven) The who, what, when, where, and why I live by the Five Ws and sometimes I die In a stranger's living room Trying to find a way to be That’s how every story, Every story starts for me I’ve gotta be clear Be clear to be here I’ve gotta take in Take in their everything If we get far enough down the road We might get to the how Then 'I' becomes 'we' and we’re in the moment now You might think this story's free But it cost me dearly (cost me dearly) I get the get But you don’t know how it’s given (how it’s given) Cause I’m just a taker Wanting, Hoping, Praying To be forgiven (to be forgiven) That's how every story Every story starts for me That’s where every road Every road it leads And there's no going back, there’s no pretend This is a story that will never end You might think this story's for free But it cost me dearly (cost me dearly) I get the get But you don’t know how it’s given Yeah, cause I’m just the taker Wanting, Hoping, Praying To be forgiven (to be forgiven) Be forgiven (to be forgiven) © 2016 Catherine the Great Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
3.
LINCOLN JAMES Daniel Piña / James House I could hear your voice calling From another world away I was deep in the shadows Losing friends day by day I didn't write your mama letters Dare not tempt the reaper's hand Love and pain colliding Someday we'll talk, you'll understand And we called you Lincoln James Son of thunder, tall and brave May your heart stay Full of wonder My life changed, you'll know your name Lincoln James Someday I'll tell you about your history You will show me who I am Your sweet mama, she's a mystery Her true love changed my plans And we call you Lincoln James Son of thunder, tall and brave May your heart stay Full of wonder My life changed, you'll know your name Lincoln James On the day that you were born I know I'd make it through the storm And we call you Lincoln James Son of thunder, tall and brave May your heart stay Full of wonder My life changed, you'll know your name Lincoln James © 2016 Go With A River Publishing (BMI) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
4.
Choices Gone 03:06
CHOICES GONE Barry Fetterolf / Darden Smith Vocals: Barry Fetterolf Barely 19 years old I got the letter in the mail I was too naive for Canada Too scared to go to jail We lived in the projects South of the city Those letters came to most of us The college boys got pity Choices gone Choices gone Choices gone Took basic in Fort Bragg They put us up in shacks Left over from our father’s war We were proud of that Choices gone Choices gone Tell me where have all the years went, should be moving on Choices gone Choices gone Choices gone I did my year in Vietnam, Like most of us would do Politicians’ sons and rich kids Had better things to do Choices gone Choices gone Choices gone Just wasn’t right to send us there And set us up to lose Young men should not be sacrificed You ought to get to choose After all these years it bothers me The memories and the shame Like we need another war song To toss around the blame 'Cause 45 years later, I’m still carrying the shame Of what I did and what I saw… Choices gone Choices gone Choices gone © 2016 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
5.
Nobody Knows 03:50
NOBODY KNOWS Bill Auger / Darden Smith I came from home from war and people think I’m messed up in my head Cause I saw too much combat, but the truth instead Is that the trouble started a long time ago I got these secrets that nobody knows As child I learned to be afraid to be left alone I joined the Marines thinking I’d find the strength to stand on my own I ran to the fight but the fight just followed me home I got these secrets that nobody knows Nobody knows the pain I’ve seen Nobody knows the trouble I dream I don’t show, I don’t tell I’m walking tall but I’m just a shell And nobody knows, nobody knows but me It’s easier to deal with the devil you know than the devil outside your door I’ve been carrying this burden for a long, long time, I can’t carry the weight much more If I told you the truth, would you promise you won’t go? I’ve got these secrets nobody knows Nobody knows the pain I’ve seen Nobody knows the trouble I dream I don’t show, I don’t tell I’m walking tall but I’m just a shell And nobody knows, nobody knows but me Heaven sent me an angel, not a minute too soon She’s my reason for healing these wounds She’s my reason to start facing the truth Nobody knows the pain I’ve seen Nobody knows the trouble I dream I don’t show, I don’t tell I’m walking tall but I’m just a shell And nobody knows, nobody knows but me © 2016 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
6.
NO ONE TO BLAME Gary Nicholson / Deven Merritt / Andy Pigg If I'd said what I was feeling If I'd listened to her If I'd given just a little more Maybe we could have made it work If she'd told me there was trouble If she'd asked me for some help Maybe we could have stayed together And found a way to save ourselves But there's no one to blame No one to blame If we stay or walk away It's still a crying shame We live with the past But it's never too late to change And there's no one to blame Coming back is never easy Seems like everything's gone wrong My world stops moving when I'm out there Spins out of control when I'm home But there's no one to blame No one to blame If we stay or walk away It's still a crying shame We live with the past But it's never too late to change And there's no one to blame No one to blame If we stay or walk away It's still a crying shame We live with the past But it's never too late to change And there's no one to blame © 2016 Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing/Gary Nicholson Music (ASCAP)
7.
SHE'S NOT COMING BACK Monique Arrucci Page / Terry Radigan I did my time On the front line And I was so sure I’d go right back to who I was before And God knows I tried Each and every day To piece it back To find my way But something was missing And I just couldn’t see Something was missing . . . And it was me Oh, but she’s not coming back Oh no, she’s not coming back So say goodbye Then have a cry Dry your eyes (dry your eyes, dry your eyes) Then let her go (let her go) 'Cause you know (yeah you know) There’s someone waiting to say hello And she’s tomorrow Coming any day As soon as she meets up Oh, with yesterday War is over And peace is on the way There’s no more hiding Let me hear you say She’s not coming back Oh no, she’s not coming back So say goodbye (say goodbye) Then have a cry (have a cry) Dry your eyes (dry your eyes, dry your eyes) Then let her go (let her go) 'Cause you know (yeah you know) There’s someone waiting to say hello And it’s the girl Who traveled halfway round the world Learning to be strong Who’s singing this here song © 2016 Catherine the Great Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
8.
Jah-Melah 04:39
JAH-MELAH Beau Pendergraft / Darden Smith Jah-melah, Jah-melah, My beautiful girl Jah-melah, Jah-melah, You are my world I look into your eyes I see a spirit born to fly A bird on the wing You hunger for the sky I want you to remember That you were born to sing All the love that only you can bring Jah-melah, Jah-melah, My beautiful girl Jah-melah, Jah-melah, You are my world I look in your eyes I see all I have to lose They can take me from this world But never away from you Know that I am with you I’ll be your loving guide Spiritually I’m always by your side Jah-melah, Jah-melah, My beautiful girl Jah-melah, Jah-melah, You are my world All the pain that I’ve been through I’d do it all again and more for you So your days can be full And your soul be free For this song is yours to sing Jah-melah, Jah-melah, My beautiful girl Jah-melah, Jah-melah, You are my world © 2016 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) 
9.
DON’T LET THEM TAKE IT Barry Fetterolf / James House You can cover it up With lies, and drugs, and booze Hide it behind walls Pride and the so-called truth All you can do is hold on The best that you can Don’t let them take it, the love that you need Don't let them take it, the things you believe Don't let them take it, time that's yours to grieve Whatever you do Don't let them take it from you You can turn and walk away Wear the soles off your shoes You can stand up and fight 'Till there's no fight left in you All you can do is hold on The best that you can Don’t let them take it, the love that you need Don't let them take it, the things you believe Don't let them take it, time that's yours to grieve Whatever you do Don't let them take it from you Don’t let them take it Don’t let them take it Don’t let them take it Whatever it is It's yours and only yours to give Don’t let them take it, the love that you need Don't let them take it, the things you believe Don't let them take it, time that's yours to grieve Whatever you do Don't let them take it from you © 2016 Go With A River Publishing (BMI) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
10.
Dark Train 04:18
DARK TRAIN Bill Auger / Darden Smith Sit down daddy, I got a story to tell Sit down daddy, I got a story to tell My whole damned life’s been one long living hell I don’t talk to my brother no more I don’t talk to my brother no more My brother he ain’t my brother no more There’s a dark train Rolling through this town The dark train might tear the whole house down Sit down brother, I got something to say We both know we can’t change what you did that day But you can’t go on living that way There’s a dark train rolling through this town I think the dark train’s gonna tear the whole house down There’s a dark train rolling through this town I think the dark train’s gonna tear the whole house down You can beat my body but not my soul You can beat my body but not my soul I’m a new man now, I’m taking control Sit down daddy, try to be strong Sit down brother, this won’t take too long It all ends right now, here today, then I’m moving on There’s a dark train Rolling through this town I’m gonna let the dark train tear the whole house down © 2016 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
11.
MY DEAREST POOTS Erin Calabrese / Monique Arrucci Page / Kathy Nardolillo / Kelly Strade / Stella Sensel / Krista Spohr / Emily Thon / Terry Radigan My Dearest Poots Do you remember when we were playin’ in the backyard? “Rock Around the Christmas Tree” was playin' Your Mama was in the kitchen dealin' cards And you were wearing something close to nothing Trying to get me back to your doggie daycare For all your run around on the ruff side of town Bitches that ain’t been treatin' you fair You act like you’ve got the only bone around But I’ve got a few buried way downtown So why don’t you go and chase your tail You all bark no bite alpha male Easy boy, settle down Easy boy, settle down I’m not sorry about the spiked choke collar Keep it up and I’ll be breaking out the muzzle You sittin' there with those big puppy eyes Beggin' for a little Vegas cuddle You act like you’ve got the only bone around But I’ve got a few buried way downtown So why don’t you go and chase your tail You all bark no bite alpha male Easy boy, settle down Easy boy, settle down But oh no, it’s not time for the Rainbow Bridge (No, no no) You still got a couple tricks to turn And remember, you are the Spencer . . . To my Hepburn You act like you’ve got the only bone around But I’ve got a few buried way downtown So why don’t you go and chase your tail You all bark no bite alpha male Easy boy, settle down Easy boy, settle down Easy boy, settle down Easy boy, settle down © 2016 Catherine the Great Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
12.
FALLING APART Darden Smith & Group It looks like my country is falling apart Things I’ve loved ripped from my heart We’re just looking for a brand new start Looks like my country is falling apart Looks like my country is falling apart It used to be easier it used to be whole We were made of steel we had iron in our souls Invincible like Superman Then the shit really hit the fan It looks like my country is falling apart Things I’ve loved ripped from my heart We’re just looking for a brand new start Looks like my country is falling apart Looks like my country is falling apart We’re looking for a leader to get us back on track We’re looking for a leader to get us on a track Instead of watching Fox News and doing crack Bit by bit take the country back It looks like my country is falling apart Things I’ve loved ripped from my heart We’re just looking for a brand new start Looks like my country is falling apart Looks like my country is falling apart A country of unity Built for you and built for me So that all of us have opportunity To live free Live free Live free It looks like my country is falling apart Things I’ve loved ripped from my heart We’re just looking for a brand new start Looks like my country is falling apart Looks like my country is falling apart © 2016 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)

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released July 14, 2016

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SongwritingWith:Soldiers Nashville, Tennessee

SongwritingWith:Soldiers is a non-profit 501c (3) organization.

Our Mission: We transform lives by using collaborative songwriting to expand creativity, connections, and strengths.

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