SW​:​S Retreat August NY 2018

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.
    The following veterans participated in the August NY 2018 retreat: Robin Caudell, Thomas Haynes, Mike Jarvis, Carey Monkelbaan, Eric Monkelbaan, Jim Reeves, Alicia Seda
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released September 5, 2018

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SongwritingWith:Soldiers Austin, Texas

Founded by Austin, Texas singer-songwriter Darden Smith and Mary Judd, 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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Track Name: Decoy Story
DECOY STORY

Thomas Haynes / Mike Jarvis / Carey Monkelbaan / Eric Monkelbaan
Jim Reeves / Alicia Seda / Robin Caudell / Darden Smith

Oh boy I got a decoy story
Oh boy I got a decoy story

People ask me questions
The want to know what I did
In the service in the war zone
But I keep that story hid
It was my job, what I did
But it’s not like the TV show
I’d tell you what it was really like
But I don’t think you want to know

Oh boy I got a decoy story
Oh boy I got a decoy story

I’d tell you the truth
But it would take to long
You might be scared
Or think what I did was wrong
So let’s talk about home
Weather or the time away
But I loved it man
I just can’t find the right words to say

Oh boy I got a decoy story
Oh boy I got a decoy story

Something's are not in the history book
When it’s declassified then maybe you can a look

Oh boy I got a decoy story
Oh boy I got a decoy story

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Sinking Sand
SINKING SAND

Robin Caudell / Georgia Middleman

I’m too young to retire
Too old to be hired
So what do you do in a gig economy?
It’s like a patchwork quilt
Job to job to pay the bills
where the worker has no autonomy

just when think you’ve set your golden years
a damn pink slip appears

You think
you’re standing on solid ground
and then the earth tilts and sways
and hey
Like my grandma used say
Where there is a will there is a way
So I huddle in my soul
A solid place to stand
Cause all other ground is sinking sand

They send you to school
To learn all the rules
But they never tell you how you can break ‘em

You figure that all out
While you’re living hand to mouth
Between the time you go to sleep and awaken

‘cause that’s the place where you connect
To your spirit and what’s coming next

You think
you’re standing on solid ground
and then the earth tilts and sways
and hey
Like my grandma used say
where there is a will there is a way
So I huddle in my soul
A solid place to stand
Cause all other ground is sinking sand

You think
you’re standing on solid ground
then the earth tilts and sways
and hey
Like my grandma used say
where there is a will there is a way
So huddle in your soul
The only solid place to stand
Cause all other ground is sinking sand

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Middle Girl Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Call You on Sunday
CALL YOU ON SUNDAY

Thomas Haynes / Jay Clementi

There’s a copper crimson sunset glowing on those mountains
That are dark as the stains on my soul from the past 36 hours

I’m gonna pull the shades down on that window cuz I’m about to call
I don’t want to let on and have you worry bout it all

I only call you on Sunday
I don’t want you waiting on that phone to ring every single day
I know you carry the weight of our world
taking care of our home our son and our sweet little girl
I’m six thousand miles away, I’m coming home to you one day
I won’t have to
I’ll call you on Sunday

My love for you is greater than, the sky the moon and earth
You’re the last thing on my mind at night and morning you’re the first

It’s all the little things, that you don’t have to say
It’s the memory your almond eye, that gets me through the day

I only call you on Sunday
I don’t want you waiting on that phone to ring every single day
I know you carry the weight of our world
taking care of our home our son and our sweet little girl
And I’m sorry it has to be this way, I’m coming home to you one day
and I won’t have to
Only call you on Sunday

I don’t know how you’ve done it, for so many years
The dedication and strength, to hold back tears

The patience and the grace to let me do what I want to do
Trust me I know I hit the lottery with you

I only call you on Sunday
I don’t want you waiting on that phone to ring every single day
I know you carry the weight of our world
taking care of our home our son and our sweet little girl
Baby you’re the prayer I pray, I’m coming home to you one day
I won’t have to
I’ll call you on Sunday


© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Sony ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP)
Track Name: I Prey On It
I PREY ON IT

Carrie Monkelbaan / Jay Clementi / Darden Smith

I can read the situation
Master of manipulation
I sense your weakness and your fears
Innocence in tears
And I prey on it

I know how to make you trust me
All the words that make you love me
My puppet on a string
You’ll do anything
And I prey on it

Tell you the truth
I hurt you and I liked it
That’s what I do
I know there’s nothing you can do about
Make you feel dirty and worthless
Make you think that you deserve it
and I prey on it

If I’m just being honest
Long ago I killed my conscience
It’s a certain kinda freedom
I see what I what I need
and I prey on

Tell you the truth
I hurt you and I liked it
That’s what I do
I know there’s nothing you can do about
Make you feel dirty and worthless
Make you think that you deserve it
and I prey on it

Nobody’s gonna listen to those stories that you tell
Anyway I got a plan to talk my way out of hell

Tell you the truth
I hurt you and I liked it
That’s what I do
I know there’s nothing you can do about
Make you feel dirty and worthless
Make you think that you deserve it
and I prey on it

I prey on it
I prey on it
I’ll make you never trust
Girl you’ll always feel my touch
And I prey on it

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP) / Sony ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP)
Track Name: You're My Mission
YOU’RE MY MISSION

Eric Monkelbaan / Terry Radigan

I live the war I never saw
Each and every day
Not in words but in your eyes
And the things you’ll never say
I’m sorry I didn’t find you sooner
And that I couldn’t keep you safe
That you had to fight that battle all alone
That you’re still fighting here today
And all that I can do is to be there
To hold you close and let you know
I ain’t going nowhere

You’re my mission
And I need you to listen
Give me all your yesterdays
Let me take them all away
Give me all your sorrows
Let me walk you to tomorrow
Girl cause loving you
Its what I was born to do
You’re my mission baby
I need you to listen

I can’t set you free from those memories
But girl we’re making new ones
In that little white house where we raise
our daughter and our son
And that cabin way back in the woods
Where we’ll grow old together
Cause Carey you are and will always be
My one and only forever

You’re my mission
And I need you to listen
Give me your yesterdays
Let me take them all away
Give me all your sorrows
Let me walk you to tomorrow
Girl cause loving you
That’s what I was born to do
You’re my mission
And I need you to listen

That each and every single day
The sun will rise I’ll take away
One more tear from your eyes
That each and every single day
The sun will rise I’ll take away
One more tear from your eyes

That each and every single day
The sun will rise I’ll take away
One more tear from your eyes



© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Catherine the Great (ASCAP)
Track Name: Free Fall School
FREE FALL SCHOOL

Jim Reeves / Georgia Middleman

I remember when
I heard that crack
and a ringing in my ear
I reached up for my risers
But only one of my hands appeared

The other one was fast asleep
And swinging in the wind
If I was gonna land this jump
I’d better do something quick

Cause power lines and train tracks
Won’t be the death of me

Free fall school
Where the only rule
Is to learn to find your feet
When you’re falling fast
And isn’t that what life is anyway
Just one big free fall school

My creative side
And who I was
I had to put away
‘cause Uncle Sam
Don’t give a damn
Bout what you drew today
But you gotta feed the monster
Once you let him in
So I took out my paint
And found that part of me again

I learned how to readjust
When life’s out of control in

Free fall school
Where the only rule
Is to learn to find your feet
When you’re falling fast
And isn’t that what life is anyway
Just one big free fall school

Eyes on the horizon
Drop what you don’t need
overcome the obstacles
and do what sets you free

Free fall school
Where the only rule
Is to learn to find your feet
When you’re falling fast
And isn’t that what life is anyway

Free fall school
Where the only rule
Is to learn to find your feet
When you’re falling fast
And isn’t that what life is anyway
Just one big free fall school

One big free fall school

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Middle Girl Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Walking Into The Light
WALKING IN THE LIGHT

Alicia Seda / Darden Smith

I was a mess but didn’t know it
A wreck but did not show it
I drank to keep from feeling
All the pain that needed healing down inside
I got so good at running
I never saw this coming
All trouble that I tried to leave
At 28 caught up with me this time

And if everything is equal
The good times and the bad
When I look back on the life that I have had
I have seen some darkness
And I’m worn out from the fight
It’s time that I start walking in the light

Through the tears and anger
The sadness and danger
I hit bottom and it hurt
I saw that life was surely worth much more
Now I’m no longer running
Changed who I’m becoming
And a new life I am leading
A new song I will be singing for my lord

Cause if everything is equal
The good times and the bad
When I look back on this life that I have had
Well I have seen some darkness
And I’m worn out from the fight
It’s time that I started walking in the light
Guess it’s time I started walking in the light

You see I forgave the darkness
And I made peace with that fight
So that I could start walking in the light
So that I could start walking in the light
Walking in the light

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Eventually
EVENTUALLY

Mike Jarvis / Terry Radigan

I musta been 4 or 5 years old
Holding my father’s tools
Not doing what I was told
And learning how to break the rules
When i saw you standing at your mother’s side
The picture perfect poster child for polite
I didn’t know back then
There’d be a you & me
Eventually

Fast forward to the lion’s den
I’d see you hanging round
But I was busy with my friends
On the wrong side of town
Getting into trouble
Learning all the wrong things
You were honor roll book club
All halo & wings
Still didn’t know back then
There’d be a you & me
Eventually

You were keeping tabs on my
All those years
One day you thanked me for my service
And i said you wanna grab a beer
I didn’t pay for your drinks
But i did play wagon wheel
And that was the start of something real

And I knew right then
I’d found my best friend
So on Christmas Eve
I said girl will you marry me
Eventually

Yeah cause I knew right then
I’d found my best friend
I didn’t get down on one knee
But still I asked you to marry me
Eventually


© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Catherine the Great (ASCAP)
Track Name: Hammer On Steel
HAMMER ON STEEL

Thomas Haynes / Mike Jarvis / Carey Monkelbaan / Eric Monkelbaan
Jim Reeves / Alicia Seda / Robin Caudell
Darden Smith / Jay Clementi / Georgia Middleman / Terry Radigan / Kenny Neal

My heart pounds like hammer on steel

I have left the roads, the roads that I have known
So I could walk out into, into the great unknown
I don’t know where I’m going
But I know I’m not alone
I’m going home

My bag is packed with love, with love and doubt and fear
My demons they walk with me, they are always near
Yeah, they’re my traveling buddies
So I know I’m not alone
I’m going home

My heart pounds like hammer on steel

But that ain’t gonna stop me
One foot and then the other
From the roads I left behind me
It can’t get any tougher

I can hear my own heart beating, got a ringing in my ears
No time to turn around, the path is never clear
But I got a faith inside of me
And I know I’m not alone
I’m going home

My heart pounds like hammer on steel

One, Two, Three

But that ain’t gonna stop me
One foot and then the other
From the roads I left behind me
It can’t get any tougher

My heart pounds like hammer on steel
Follow me
If your heart pounds like hammer on steel

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP) / Sony ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP) / Middle Girl Music (ASCAP) / Catherine the Great (ASCAP)

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