SW​:​S Retreat - August 2015

by SongwritingWith:Soldiers

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    Our retreats pair professional songwriters with veterans, active duty service members, and military families to write songs about their military experiences and returning home. Melissa, Richard, Keenan, Josilyn, Mastin, and Lochlan Burkett; Dusty Baxley; Jennifer Allen and Tom, Summer, Journye, and Boston MacDonald; Amelia, Adam, and Sydney Martin; Taniki, Brandon, Jermaine and Terry Richard; and Luis Rivera participated in the August 2015 retreat. These songs are their stories.

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released November 9, 2015

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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: We Can Do Anything
WE CAN DO ANYTHING
Taniki and Brandon Richard / JD Martin

Sometimes we fight with our heads down
Traveling a road with no ground
Falling back to the way the world lives
Blind to the way we wanna be
Blind to the plan we hope to see
Losing sight of the way it really is

But the fight is so much bigger than me and you
So let’s lift up our heads and see the truth

We can do anything
Push through the struggle
Find a piece of heaven
In the midst of the trouble
You don’t climb to the top of the mountain and then quit
You have to keep on reaching for every little bit
We can do anything…together
We can do anything

Tread light, push on and don’t fret
Leave the past and don’t forget
Hold on to the memories
Each battle may not be won
But we will win the war so hold on
Make a new life for the family

Yes the fight is so much bigger than me and you
So let’s lift up our heads and see the truth

We can do anything
Push through the struggle
Find a piece of heaven
In the midst of the trouble
You don’t climb to the top of the mountain and then quit
You have to keep on reaching for every little bit
We can do anything…together
We can do anything
Track Name: Sweet Sweet Honey
SWEET SWEET HONEY
Taniki, Brandon, Jermaine, and Terry Richard / Ashley Cleveland

We were meant to be together
God told us
We found out what really matters
God showed us
He took us places that we had refused to go
Taught us things we never knew we needed to know
Focused on an unseen future plan
Because He loves us

We got the sweet, sweet honey in the pot of gold
So let’s take care to never let it go
Nice and slow
As we grow

Now we’re anything but normal
And that’s o.k.
Different you, different me
We do it God’s way
Some may call it backwards but we fit together
We celebrate the moments through any kind of weather
Stronger standing on His promise
Day by day

We got the sweet, sweet honey in the pot of gold
So let’s take care to never let it go
Nice and slow
As we grow
Track Name: Human Again
HUMAN AGAIN
Luis Rivera / Darden Smith / Jay Clementi

I just want to feel human again
I just want to feel human again

Looking in the mirror thinking about who I used to be
Wish it was clearer where the next road leads
All of my life I’ve felt alone
I can’t find a place where I belong

I just want to feel human again
I just want to feel human again

There’s a place in my heart that you can’t see
It’s a little piece of the best of me
All of my life I’ve been on the run
From myself and from what I’ve done

I just want to feel human again
I just want to feel human again

I can’t judge myself any longer
I’ve known dark, like you won’t believe
I want to stop these dreams

I just want to feel human again
I just want to feel human again
Track Name: All My Life Is A Song
ALL MY LIFE IS A SONG
Eric Burkett / JD Martin / Darden Smith

All my life I’ve been singing
All my life is a song
I could try to keep it inside
But that wouldn’t last for long
Cause life is so damn sweet
It’s the harmony
That helps me carry on

All my life I’ve been singing
All my life is a song
When the hard times wash over me
I let the music come
And it lifts me up so high
Reminding me that I
Can carry on

I just take a breath and I sing
Because God has gifted me
If I did not raise my voice that would be wrong
So that is why I sing
Because God has lifted me
If I did not raise my voice that would be wrong
Because all my life is a song
Because all my life is a song

Sweet, sweet song
Sweet, sweet song
Track Name: Nothing But A Thing
NOTHING BUT A THING
Adam Martin / Jay Clementi

This 4 wheel drive ain’t quite like the one back home
Desert camo, full of ammo, it ain’t got no chrome
No Johnny Cash on the radio
Yeah out here, it ain’t cold beer in the console, it’s a
box full of grenades, Oakley shades, and a convoy on the roll
This far down range anything goes

It’s bullets and tracers, mortars from the sky
Searching through the ashes, can’t feel enough to cry
It’s your worst nightmare but a warrior’s dream
Suck it up soldier, ain’t nothing but a thing

Coffee in my lip, fingertips close to a gun
Home in my chair, I’m still there but I don’t tell no one
I close my eyes when the day is done – and it’s

Bullets and tracers, mortars from the sky
Searching through the ashes, can’t feel enough to cry
It’s your worst nightmare but a warrior’s dream
Suck it up soldier, ain’t nothing but a thing

Let the numb sink in, kill the pain again
Cover up your conscience with justified sin

It’s bullets and tracers, mortars from the sky
Searching through the ashes, can’t feel enough to cry
It’s your worst nightmare but a warrior’s dream
Suck it up soldier, ain’t nothing but a thing
Suck it up soldier, ain’t nothing but a thing
Track Name: Ghosts
GHOSTS
Adam, Amy, and Sydney Martin / Jay Clementi

Tucked my baby in last night
Turned on her pink night light
She said Daddy who’s that man you just walked by him
My heart was in my throat
Thought we were all alone

I said baby no one’s there
She said Daddy I’m not scared
I’ve seen his face before
One time on Grandma’s porch
He didn’t say too much
Just rocked and watched over us

Now I believe in Ghosts
I don’t care what you say
I feel it in my bones
I swear he was there that day
There ain’t a shadow of doubt in my soul
Now I believe, I believe in ghosts

Lost a good friend of mine
One cold December night
Now his little girl is home, with her momma all alone
I didn’t know what to say
When she said daddy walked me
To school today

Now I believe in Ghosts
I don’t care what you say
I feel it in my bones
I swear he was there that day
There ain’t a shadow of doubt in my soul
Now I believe, I believe in ghosts

Campfire songs and a midnight dust devil
Danced up a thousand glowing red embers
You could blame it on the wind but I’ll tell you it was him
Making sure we remember

Now I believe in Ghosts
I don’t care what you say
I feel it in my bones
I swear he was there that day
There ain’t a shadow of doubt in my soul
Now I believe, I believe in ghosts
Track Name: Mother Soldier
MOTHER SOLDIER
Jennifer Allen / Darden Smith

I wore your picture in a locket
When I was overseas
So no matter where I traveled
I carried you with me

I missed Christmas I missed birthdays
Your first day at school
But right here over my heart
I always carried you

Mother soldier
The hardest thing I’ll ever do
I kept your picture in a locket
That’s how I made it through
When I was a mother and a soldier too

I couldn’t take the missing you
So I shut down my heart
Now you’re right here next to me
I’ve forgotten where to start

Mother soldier
I did what I had to do
And that picture in a locket
That’s how I made it through
When I was a mother and a soldier too

I just hope you understand
I’m doing the best I can
And I’m trying to make up for lost time

Mother soldier
Still doing what I have to do
And that picture in a locket
That’s how I make it through
I keep your picture in a locket
That’s how I make it through
I’m a mother and a soldier too
I’m a mother and a soldier too
Track Name: Welcome Home
WELCOME HOME
Dusty Baxley / Ashley Cleveland / JD Martin

I came home in 2009 to die
I gave ‘em everything I had to give
Now I wondered why
I gave ‘em 22 years, I got back a million tears
I didn’t know how to feel and I was too numb to try

I boarded a plane, I was Sydney bound
I went as far from here as I could get
To put the war down
I couldn’t get out of my head, I stayed drunk and high instead
I was the lost soul that didn’t know he could be found

They said Welcome home. Job well done. Welcome home
It just felt wrong

We met at a jukebox in a horse show bar
I said excuse me ma’am can you read the titles?
Don’t know where my glasses are
We talked and talked all night, for the first time it felt right
Now she rides with me on my ‘blue girl’
We don’t need no sidecar

She said Welcome Home. It felt so safe. Welcome Home
She is my amazing grace
Track Name: Howdy-Do
HOWDY-DO
Jennifer Allen and Summer, Journye, and Boston MacDonald / Ashley Cleveland / Darden Smith

Our house is always crowded, it’s the place to be
We got the toys we like the noise we treat you like family
We know what it means to be far from home
So when you come to our house you’re never alone

No matter what happens we stick like glue
Everywhere we go it’s always something new
So when the hard times come a-knockin’
We tell ‘em ‘howdy-do’

9-11, NY, Tennessee, Iraq
We had to learn to see the poetry in that
We’ve had our share of problems we’ve got a few of them still
But we really, really love each other and we always will

No matter what happens we stick like glue
Everywhere we go it’s always something new
So when the hard times come a-knockin’
We tell ‘em ‘howdy-do’

We dream about the future while we take it day-by-day
We living in this moment before the moment goes away
Life chooses its own path, we’ve got no control
So when crazy comes around, give me your hand to hold

No matter what happens let’s stick like glue
Everywhere we go it’s always something new
So when the hard times come a-knockin’
We tell ‘em ‘howdy-do’
Track Name: I Am Not Alone
I AM NOT ALONE
Journye MacDonald / Ashley Cleveland

On the beam I was invincible
I was the best that I could be
Til injury made the doctors say ‘no more’
I lost my dance when I lost my routine
What in the world can I count on?
I think that now I know

You are there when I need you
You are there when I don’t
Everywhere, I can feel you
Everywhere
I am not alone

When Pop died I was inconsolable
He was the one who understood
I cried and cried but you were incredible
You made me laugh, you showed me life was good
Who in the world can I count on?
I think that now I know

You are there when I need you
You are there when I don’t
Everywhere, I can feel you
Everywhere
I am not alone

This is my chance to say what you mean to me
For picking me up and being my friends
For helping me put the past behind me
So that I could live in the present again
Who in the world can I count on?
I think that now I know

You are there when I need you
You are there when I don’t
Everywhere, I can feel you
Everywhere
I am not alone
Track Name: A-Team
A-TEAM
Melissa, Richard, Keenan, Josilyn, Mastin, and Lochlan Burkett / JD Martin / Darden Smith

We’re the A-Team
We’re Adaptable
We’re crazy, Crazy fun
Sometimes it’s chaos
But it makes sense to us
We’re better together
Through all kinds of weather
We’re the A-Team
They call us the A-Team

We’re the A-Team
We’re amazing
Climbing higher everyday
We’ve been apart but our hearts
Are stronger than before
We’re the A-Team
God-given
See the way we’re living
We’re the A-Team
A-Team

When despair is in the air we rise up
Bring hope show faith
Shine the light in the darkest night
We can cry about the hard times
But God gives us the strength
To laugh
Take note, we’re the A-Team

We’re the A-Team
We’re awesome
Auspicious
Animals
Adventurous
We’re the A-Team
They call us the A-Team
Track Name: Sweet Dreams
SWEET DREAMS
Darden Smith & Group

I want to be happy, I’m so tired
I’ve been driving so many miles
I started at home headed to Paris Island
I’ve been through so many trials

Sweet dreams, sweet dreams
Sweet dreams, sweet dreams

Floating on clouds high above America
I look down at everybody staring at ya
I want to go outside and play, start a new day
Smile at everybody and say:

Sweet dreams, sweet dreams
Sweet dreams, sweet dreams

Tomorrow I can find my way
Find my way back home
It’s been so long
Since I had…

Sweet dreams, sweet dreams
Sweet dreams, sweet dreams