SW​:​S Retreat August 2017

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. Casey Hildreth, Brian Lehtinen, Josh Mantz, Mike McBroom, Mike Medeiros, Cliff Richardson participated in the August 2017 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.
Struggling 02:32
Group / Darden Smith Struggling trying to figure it out Struggling to try to make sense Of why I’m still here Why I’m still here Struggling Struggling I’ve been struggling with all that I don’t know Struggling just to be myself Why the good ones go All that I don’t know Struggling Struggling Just to get up Just to get going All the goddamn pills Just to lay back down All my time gone I don’t know where it went Running from it all Running from all The struggling Struggling Yeah I’m Struggling Struggling I’m just struggling trying to keep up Struggling just to let go Just to be here now To be here now Struggling Just to get up Just to get going All the goddamn pill Just to lay back down All my time gone I don’t know where it went I’m running from it all Just running from all Struggling Hey struggling Oh struggling Yeah all struggling ©2017 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
2.
Brian Lehtinen / Darden Smith Unfuck my life Get my mind right I gave all I had to give Now I wanna to learn how to live again And unfuck my life I got my lucky charms Got all my legs and arms My soul my mind That’s what I left my behind Unfuck my life A Trigger temper, a cold-black heart All my love’s been blown apart Want some joy, want some peace Want to find sweet release And unfuck my life I’m a junkie for the stress Shoot at me I’m at my best I’m feeling old, goddamn tired I just wanna get unwired Just tell me how to unfuck my life A Trigger temper, a cold-black heart All my love’s been blown apart All the joy, all the peace Wanna find sweet release And unfuck my life And unfuck my life © 2017 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
3.
Grey 04:03
Darden Smith Grey, grey No night, no day Just fear, just numb These tears they come Grey Ten years they’re gone Roll dice friends gone Come home go back No white no black Just grey But one day I’m gonna see again Laugh and I’ll joke and I’ll dream again One day all of my troubles they’re gonna end I’ll just get lost in an old guitar Lay on my back and sail through the stars One day I won’t be grey So I, I believe I wake up, from this dream New dawn, new me This world this world won’t be Grey But one day I’m gonna see again Laugh and I’ll joke and I’ll breathe again One day all of my struggles they’re gonna end I’ll just get lost in this old guitar Lay on my back with you in my arms One day I won’t be grey No I won’t be grey I won’t be grey © 2017 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
4.
Ink 04:23
Will Kimbrough / Jay Clementi & Group There's a pleasure in pain I push to the brink I cover my scars All over with ink There's pleasure in the pain You better believe I wear my hurt All over my sleeve Moving too fast I silently scream I cover my scars All over with ink Cause I’ve been to the edge I’ve been all down in hell I'm covered with stories They’re too heavy to tell There's a pleasure in pain I push to the brink I cover my scars All over with ink There's pleasure in the pain You better believe I wear my hurt All over my sleeve If you see my arm You see my gun My shooting hand Then you better run Because A man always needs A girl on his arm It's all on my sleeve To cover my scars There's a pleasure in pain I push to the brink I cover my scars All over with ink There's pleasure in the pain You better believe I wear my hurt All over my sleeve All over my sleeve I've been grabbing at straws I'm grabbing for beers I'm covered with stories ya’ll Made out of tears The artist is ready The pen in his hand A new masterpiece For the tattooed man There's a pleasure in pain I push to the brink I wear my scars All over with ink, yes I do I wear my scars All over with ink This is my story Just so you know I carry it with me Wherever I go I've seen it and heard it And i know it smells Confessing my stories To heavy to tell Cause I've seen it and heard it And i know it smells Confessing my stories They’re too heavy to tell There's a pleasure in pain I push to the brink I cover my scars All over with ink A pleasure in the pain ya better believe I wear my hurt all over my sleeve © 2017 Will Kimbrough Music BMI admin. Bluewater Music Inc. / Sony ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
5.
Mike Medeiros / Gary Nicholson I can strap on all my gear And march into the fight At the end of the day if I’m still here I know I’m all right When the bullets fly and bombs light the sky I know what to do But the silence of a lonely bedroom Is so hard to make it through Inside the armor The fight still rages on Inside the armor It’s still all going wrong Inside the armor The wounds that never heal Inside the armor Is the only me that’s real I wear my vest of foolish pride And nothing can cut through I have my mask of secrecy I know what I must do Fake it till you make it I know I’ll be all right If I you don’t wake up screaming In the middle of the might Inside the armor The fight still rages on Inside the armor It’s still all going wrong Inside the armor The wounds that never heal Inside the armor Is the only me that’s real I’m gonna try to let you in And open up my heart May take some time to strip it on down But I’ll find a way to start Inside the armor That’s the only me that’s real Inside the armor I want to show you the only me that’s real I want to show you Inside the armor © 2017 Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing/Gary Nicholson Music (ASCAP) © 2017 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
6.
Jay Clementi Midnight coffee in a dust bowl trailer Getting some of that graveyard humor Fighting over the nights' assignments Working on the scheme of maneuver Gathered round watching the feed How many mag’s do you think we’ll need Building up a charge & prepping the fuse Watching for the gates the bad guys never use Bout to go Into the darkness Don’t know what’s waiting behind that door A scared little kid or just another one room war I know my boys need me now, I’m not gonna let em down Times like these are the hardest Walking into the darkness darkness into the darkness Three bedrooms on a quiet street She was my everything We got lost along the way She’d rather drink these days That sun ain’t even set And I’m standing on our front steps Bout to go Into the darkness Don’t know what’s waiting behind that door Will she have dinner on the table or be passed out on the floor I know that she needs me now, and I don’t wanna let her down Times like this are the hardest Walking into the darkness into the darkness darkness Tired of fighting these demons within Just wanna look in the mirror again I don’t wanna go Into the darkness Don’t wanna open that door All I want is the future I’ve been hoping for But I’m gonna face it now, I’m not gonna let me down Just like my heart is I’m so damn done with all this Walking into the darkness into darkness into the darkness darkness Well I don’t want I don’t want no more darkness © 2017 Sony ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
7.
Love Again 03:09
Casey Hildreth / Jay Clementi I’ve danced with the devil I’ve loaned him out my soul Turned my back on heavens angels Let Jack Daniels take control My Heart feels cold calloused Filled with darkness and it’s numb Maybe it’s from all the years I’ve spent behind this gun I just wanna learn how to love again Just wanna learn to let that light back in Be a better father, brother and friend I just wanna learn how to love how to love again War is beautiful and tragic It just does things to a man If you haven’t been there You just can’t comprehend When you make peace with death Your heart feels just like a prison I’m so tired just surviving I’m dying to start living Dying to start living Just wanna learn how to love again Just wanna learn to let that light back in Be a better father, brother and friend Oh I just wanna learn how to love how to love again I’m ready I’m ready to put down all this weight My heart just needs a key it’s tired of being locked away Just wanna learn how to love again Just wanna learn to let that light back in Be a better father, brother and friend Oh I just wanna learn how to love how to love Oh I just wanna learn how to love how to love again © 2017 Sony ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
8.
Casey Hildreth / Mike Medeiros / Clifford Richardson / Gary Nicholson / Darden Smith I’m thankful for the broken road that got me here But I’m not going back that way again My old suitcase I’ll leave by the roadside Cause where I’m going don’t look like where I’ve been I won’t say I won’t walk through that fire again Just to see my dreams go up in smoke But I don’t want to retrace those steps again I just want to see those ashes turn to hope Trying to find redemption road Wondering which way it’s gonna go Not sure where it will take me All I know is I can’t walk alone Down redemption road I won’t take the path of least resistance Even if it takes a lot more time I see some smoke off in the distance Someone else’s baggage left behind Gonna keep my faith in tomorrow Do the best I can today I’ll be leaving my signs along the trail Help someone else along the way Trying to find redemption road Wondering which way it’s gonna go Not sure where it will take me But I know I can’t walk alone Yes I know I can’t walk alone Down redemption road © 2017 Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing/Gary Nicholson Music (ASCAP) © 2017 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
9.
Straw Man 03:41
Mike McBroom / Darden Smith Straw man A house on shifting sand Straw man The wind scatters you Scatters you Across this land An ember a match And the tinder would catch And light up this little boy’s night I didn’t run I couldn’t fight It didn’t matter wrong or right The straw man never learned I’d just let that straw man burn Straw man A house on shifting sand Straw man The wind scatters you Scatters you Across this land The rage and the fear You showed me so clear The right and the wrong way to love And the devil that we hold Ain’t a devil we control Till we look the devil in the eye And see that straw man inside Straw man A house on shifting sand Straw man The wind scatters you Scatters you Across this land The smoke is cleared What am I to do How long shall I carry you Put down these ashes Pick up a brand new fire And walk away Yeah walk away I’m going walk away Just walk away From the Straw man And the house on shifting sand Straw man Let the wind scatter you Scatter you All across this land Scatter you Just let the wind scatter you All across this land © 2017 Darden Smith / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
10.
Josh Mantz / Will Kimbrough / Gary Nicholson If you know shame you’ve walked my battlefield If you know guilt you know who I am If you know darkness then you know my weakness But I’m reaching for the light every way I can It’s a journey journey to surrender The long long walk to find ourselves again The journey journey to remember Reaching out for that place deep within There was beauty, beauty in the suffering The grace I didn't know was healing me I went down the road of good intentions But my dying showed me all that life could be It’s the journey journey through connection The long walk we all take to find ourselves again The journey back from my own resurrection Reaching out for that deep place within Everyday I try to remember It’s one more step on the journey to surrender I found the peace the peace of letting go It's all right it's all right I’m not in control © 2017 Will Kimbrough Music BMI admin. Bluewater Music Inc. © 2017 Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing/Gary Nicholson Music (ASCAP) © 2017 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
11.
Cliff Richardson / Will Kimbrough I've been all over this great big world I've done what I've done the best that I can And I've seen men be cruel and unkind To each other and this beautiful land We spend a whole lot of time just fooling ourselves Can't see the forest for the trees If we really look deep, most everyone knows That you got to be a pillar of peace I've seen the world from 20,000 feet And I've seen it from the bottom of the sea I've thought a whole lot about what it means to be free And I want to be a pillar of peace If we look past our differences I know we will see A whole lot of good all around Nothing is forever except for the earth So I keep both my feet on the ground I've seen the world from 20,000 feet And I've seen if from the bottom of the sea I've thought a whole lot about what it means to be free And I want to be a pillar of peace A good man he don't have to be rich And a poor man don't have to be bad A wise man's knowledge ain't just in a degree If he shares everything that he can Things don't always go my way And life ain’t all about me But you know if we all work together We'd all be pillars of peace I've seen the world from 20,000 feet And I've seen if from the bottom of the sea I've thought a whole lot about what it means to be free And I want to be a pillar of peace I want to be a pillar of peace Life is meant to be loved Life is meant to be lived Life ain’t made for regret You know good friends and family and lessons we learn I don't ever want to forget No I ain't ever gonna forget I've seen the world from 20,000 feet And I've seen if from the bottom of the sea I've thought a whole lot about what it means to be free And I want to be a pillar of peace I've seen the world from 20,000 feet And I've seen if from the bottom of the sea Thought a whole lot about what it means to be free And I want to be a pillar of peace Yeah I want to be a pillar of peace Oh want to be a pillar of peace And I’m gonna be a pillar of peace © 2017 Will Kimbrough Music BMI admin. Bluewater Music Inc. / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)

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released September 6, 2017

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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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