SW​:​S Retreat - August 19​-​21, 2014

by SongwritingWith:Soldiers

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    We hold retreats that pair professional songwriters with military veterans to write songs about their experiences of combat and returning home. These songs were written at a retreat for military families: Glenn, Jelly, Jessica, and J.P. Estrada / Chad, Jamie, Alexis, Sydney, and Emmett Wilson / Mel, Marie, Kelly, Lauren, and Ruby Lewis / Jennifer Marino.

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credits

released November 4, 2014

Songwriters include Jay Clementi, Mary Gauthier and Darden Smith.

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SongwritingWith:Soldiers Austin, Texas

Founded by Austin, Texas singer-songwriter Darden Smith, SongwritingWith:Soldiers is a non-profit 501c (3) organization. Our mission is to assist in the emotional healing process of both active duty U.S. soldiers and veterans through collaborative songwriting. ... more

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Track Name: Road Trip
ROAD TRIP
Chad and Jamie Wilson / Mary Gauthier

Sydney takes the high part Em takes the low
Lexi’s in the middle, singing down the road
It’s a road trip we’re going on a road trip
Dimples on her back hatch getting on in years
Oil gasket leaks but Abby’s solid in her gears
It’s a road trip, going on a road trip

Papa’s coming off the ship
(I’m coming off the ship)
Papa’s coming off the ship
(Our sailor’s coming home)
It’s a road trip, our road trip

When Pop deploys, Em’s the only guy
It’s a hard job to handle but his head stays high
It’s a road trip he’s waiting on the road trip
Us girls are working hard to make the house right
Daddy’s on his way home, one day and one night
Then a road trip, we’re going on a road trip

Papa’s coming off the ship
(I’m coming off the ship)
Papa’s coming off the ship
(Our sailor’s coming home)
It’s road trip, we’re going on a road trip

Lubbock, Brownfield, Corpus in July
Flagstaff, Phoenix, the miles are flying by
On our road trip, our road trip
Blue Ridge, Great Lakes, fishing in the Dells
Gonna visit Aunt Missy or she's gonna raise hell
It’s a road trip, our road trip

Papa’s coming off the ship
(I’m coming off the ship)
Papa’s coming off the ship
(Our sailor’s coming home)
It’s a road trip, our road trip
Track Name: We Built This
WE BUILT THIS
Mel, Marie, Lauren, Kelly, and Ruby Lewis / Jay Clementi

When I look around, at our patch-quilt family
My heart fills with pride deep inside sometimes I can't believe
Oo Oo Ooo yeah, Oo Oo Ooo yeah we built this, yeah we built this

Duty calls that phone won't stop ringing
I’m taking those girls all over the world, just us and the girls singing
Oo Oo Ooo yeah, Oo Oo Ooo yeah we built this, yeah we built this

Nail by nail, brick by brick
Times got tough we never quit
We took our love
All on our own
Said anywhere we go
We gonna make it our home
Make it our home

We got us one, one in a billion baby
Letting her roll watching her grow into a little sunshine lady
Oo Oo Ooo yeah, Oo Oo Ooo yeah we built this, yeah we built this

We got us a little Ruby, sassy cat
A shiny rock star pink guitar angel air-force brat
Oo Oo Ooo yeah, Oo Oo Ooo yeah we built this, yeah we built this

Nail by nail, brick by brick
Times got tough but we never quit
We took our love
All on our own
Said anywhere we go
We gonna call it home
We gonna call it home

Our oldest Kelly, has a quiet grace
But if you mess with her sister’s mister, she'll be all up in your face
All up in your face

Nail by nail, brick by brick
Times get tough she won’t quit
We take our love
All on our own
And anywhere we go
We gonna make it home
We gonna make it home

It's all a gift
Yeah we built this
Track Name: Oh, Brother
OH, BROTHER
Glenn Estrada and Jelly Estrada / Darden Smith

Oh brother, are you alone
Oh brother, come back home

I can see you in the distance
Far far away
I wonder are you drifting
A little further each day
I wonder do you miss me
I wonder do you find
In some quiet moment
That I’m on your mind

Oh brother, we are all alone
Oh brother, come back home

It’s in the random moments
When I miss you most
It’s when I hear a song you loved
That I see your ghost
That’s when I want to take you
Into my open arms
That’s when I want to give you
Shelter from the storm

Oh brother, tonight I am alone
Oh brother, come back home

Let’s not part in anger
That’s not the way to live
Let’s remember love
And learn to forgive

Oh brother, are you alone
Oh brother, come back home

Oh brother, we are all alone
Oh brother, come back home
Track Name: Love Will Abide
LOVE WILL ABIDE
Chad and Jamie Wilson / Mary Gauthier / Darden Smith

Floating on a tin can in the middle of nowhere
My family’s in Virginia, but Texas is home
3,000 souls on a ship packed like sardines
Shoulder to shoulder but I’m still alone
Incoming e-mails that I can’t reply to
In River City, all coms are down
I send her my love through my prayers, through the heavens
Lord give her strength, keep us on solid ground

Suck it up shake it off trust in tomorrow
Lean in, let go, love will abide
Our love is bigger than the oceans between us
Hold on to knowing love will abide

I’m in the kitchen the phone won’t stop ringing
I sent 15 e-mails but you could not reply
I need you to hold me the news has me shaking
They say it is cancer and I’m terrified
The kids at the table, working on homework
Rush off to practice, no time for this now
I send him my love through my prayers, through the heavens
Lord give him strength, keep us on solid ground

Suck it up shake it off trust in tomorrow
Lean in, let go, love will abide
Our love is bigger than the oceans between us
Hold on to knowing love will abide
Hold on to knowing love will abide

(Instrumental)

Ships in, tours done, I’m home now, the lights out
The kids are in bed, we’ve dreamed of this time
Held together by prayers we sent through the heavens
We fall asleep knowing, love will abide
Track Name: Big Love
BIG LOVE
Glenn, Jelly, Jessica, and J.P. Estrada / Darden Smith

We got a big love
We got big love
Father, mother
Sisters and brothers
All one family
We got big love
Big love

I am blessed by their strength
I am blessed by the way they care for me
I am blessed by their forgiveness
I am blessed because they’re there for me

We got a big love
We got big love
Father, mother
Sisters and brothers
All one family
We got big love
Big love

Sometimes we fight but we’ve learned to let it go
Sometimes it’s hard to understand
To hear what’s really being said
But we keep an open heart and open hands

We got a big love
We got big love
Father, mother
Sisters and brothers
One weird and beautiful family
We got big love
Big love

My faith is in the struggle
But my faith has set me free
My faith is in commitment
My faith is my family

We got a big love
We got big love
Father, mother
Sisters and brothers
That’s my family
We got big love
We got big love
Big love
Track Name: Wrap My Heart Around You
WRAP MY HEART AROUND YOU
Jelly Estrada / Sydney Wilson / Jay Clementi

There are feelings deep inside me
I wasn't brave enough to say
In your love I've found the strength
To set the truth free today

You were there all along the soft place to fall
The writing on the wall the strength that I trust
Now I’m gonna just

Wrap my heart around you
I'm so glad I found you
You made me realize everything is gonna be alright
Love till it hurts quench every thirst leap with faith land with grace
That's what I'm gonna try to do
Wrap my heart around you

Sometimes looking back, I get stalled on the tracks
From the pain of the past I can't undo
I just need to

Wrap my heart around you
I'm so glad I found you
You made me realize everything is gonna be alright
Love till it hurts quench every thirst leap with faith land with grace
That's what I'm gonna try to do
Wrap my heart around you

Wrap my heart around you
I'm so glad I found you
You made me realize everything is gonna be alright
Love till it hurts quench every thirst leap with faith land with grace
That's what I'm gonna try to do
Wrap my heart around you
Track Name: Battle Rages On
BATTLE RAGES ON
Jelly Estrada / Alexis, Emmett, and Sydney Wilson / Darden Smith / Jay Clementi

I will never know what it’s like
To be fired on at night
Scared to the bone
But ready for the fight
All I can see-----
Slammed door hit the floor just can’t take it anymore

The battle
Rages on
Even at home
When the bullets and the bombs and the patriotic songs are gone
The battle rages on

Soldiers say goodbye
To their wives and kids
Everybody knows
It could be months before we see’em again
All I see------
Slammed door thunder roars they just aren’t the same anymore

We know the battle
Rages on
Even at home
When the bullets and the bombs and the patriotic songs are gone
The battle rages on

Daddy listen what I say it’s all gonna be ok
Daddy listen what I say it’s all gonna be ok
Daddy listen what I say it’s all gonna be ok
Daddy listen what I say it’s all gonna be ok

We know the battle
Rages on
Even at home
When the bullets and the bombs and the patriotic songs are gone
The battle rages on
Track Name: Daddy's Girl
DADDY’S GIRL
Kelly Lewis / Alexis Wilson / Jay Clementi

I have his brown hair and his smile
But I don't have his heart
And thinking I would never be a Daddy's girl
Has been the hardest part

Just a baby taking care of babies
While mom was working late like crazy
Then you walked in that night with her
With an open heart and gentle words
That moment forever changed me

And I knew
Love love love
Is thicker than blood
Love love love
Is all that matters in this world
Now finally I get to be
A Daddy's girl

I always thought that my brother
Would have to walk me down the aisle
Now I know with heart and soul
You'll be there tears dripping off your smile

The lessons that I've learned from you are gold
And the morals from the stories that you’ve told
Will always be a part of me, I've waited for so long to see
A loving father with a hero’s soul
Now I know

Love love love
Is thicker than blood
Love love love
Is all that matters in this world
And I finally get to be
A Daddy's girl

It ain’t about the ones that make you
It's about the ones that raise you
I’ve realized that in this life

Love love love
Is thicker than blood
Love love love
Is all that matters in this world
Now finally I get to be
A Daddy's girl
Track Name: Halfway Home
HALFWAY HOME
Jennifer Marino / Mary Gauthier

There’s pieces of me here in bed with my wife
There’s pieces of me still in the sandbox tonight
I can’t put them together
And I’m tired of halfway home
One foot in two worlds and neither one fits
I shouldn’t be here, I’m torn and I’m split
I left friends over there
I’m tired of halfway home

I won’t let it win
No I won’t let it win
I won’t let it win
No, the darkness won’t win
I won’t let it win
There must be a way to come home

My old friends have moved on I guess I pulled away
They used to call I didn’t know what to say
I just wanna go back
I’m so tired of halfway home
Can’t un-see what I saw can’t undo what I’ve done
Don’t know who I am since I laid down my gun
I’m still fighting the war
I’m tired of halfway home

I won’t let it win
No I won’t let it win
I won’t let it win
No, the darkness won’t win
I won’t let it win
There must be a way to come home

Last night I dreamed I had something to give
There was a hand on my shoulder and a reason to live
I woke up and remembered I’m tired of hallway home

I won’t let it win
No I won’t let it win
I won’t let it win
No, the darkness won’t win
I won’t let it win
There must be a way to come home

I won’t let it win
No I won’t let it win
I won’t let it win
No, the darkness won’t win
I won’t let it win
There must be a way to come home
Brother I wanna come home

I won’t let it win
No I won’t let it win
I won’t let it win
No, the darkness won’t win
I won’t let it win
There must be a way to come home
Brother I wanna come home
Track Name: Our Whole Family Serves
OUR WHOLE FAMILY SERVES
Marie Lewis / Mary Gauthier

Thanksgiving, Birthdays, New Years, Christmas
Hospitals, braces, 6 towns in 4 years
Bone marrow, blood tests, PET scans, and discount stores
My kids need their daddy, when he comes home, it’s halfway
His head full of horrors and there’s nothing he can say
There aren’t any words for the battles in this kind of war

He serves for me I serve for him
We serve for love not patriotism
Puts food on our table, it’s a job, we all work
Our whole family serves

When he’s gone my daughter is my right hand, my main man
Me and the kids alone here without him
There’s nights when I go in the bathroom and lay on the floor
I cry and release it, I find something deeper
Come through it stronger, my man is a keeper
I picture his face when I think can’t take any more

He serves for me and I serve for him
We serve for love not patriotism
Puts food on our table, it’s a job, we all work
Our whole family serves

3 years and 6 days, he counts down while we wait
Like prisoners scratching off time on a cold slate
With a smile on his face he holds up his head and he’s brave
Silence and secrets, keep us our clearance
We can’t talk to no one, we can’t talk about it
I hope when we get to the end there’s something to save

He serves for me and I serve for him
We serve for love not patriotism
It puts food on our table, it’s a job, we all work
Our whole family serves
Track Name: Veteran's Disease
VETERAN'S DISEASE
Mel Lewis / Darden Smith

I wake up in the morning, I look in the mirror
With every passing day it gets a little clearer
I got the veteran’s disease
I got the veteran’s disease
When I run into another man who’s seen what I’ve seen
We talk and talk until our old ladies want to scream
They’ve got veteran’s disease
They’ve got the veteran’s disease
My wife don’t think it’s true
But she’s got it too
It’s called the veteran’s disease

Old dude at the gym, getting out of the shower
Doesn’t even put a towel on, wants to talk for hours
He’s got the veteran’s disease
I say oh, man please
I walk into a Walmart, I know without a doubt
If I run into my buddy we’re never coming out
We’ve got the veteran’s disease
The veteran’s disease
That’s just the way it goes
We get high on getting low
It’s the veteran’s disease

It’s like some kind of radar, it’s like some kind of smell
We walk into a room look around we can tell
Who’s been there, and who needs
To get it off of their chest
Talk it out
It’s the veteran’s disease

Even the kids that grow up on the base
They don’t know it yet but they’ve got a case
Of the veteran’s disease
The veteran’s disease
Cause once you get around it, there’s no inoculation
We just pass it down to the next generation
The veteran’s disease
Say it loud, the veteran’s disease
Stand up and say it loud
I’m a vet and I’m proud
I got the veteran’s disease

It’s like some kind of radar, it’s like some kind of smell
We walk into a room look around we can tell
Who’s been there, and who needs
To get it off of their chest
Talk it out
It’s the veteran’s disease