SW​:​S Retreat - December 16​-​17, 2013

by SongwritingWith:Soldiers

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    All purchases are tax-deductible donations to SongwritingWith:Soldiers. Our mission is to hold retreats that pair professional songwriters with military veterans to write songs about their experiences of combat and returning home.
    Participating military service members include Brian Gardy, Tom Gilmore, Bill Keyes, Joe Lydon, Bob Naimo, Peter Nardolillo, and Sam Spitzer.
    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.
In Country 03:06
IN COUNTRY Bill Keyes / Sam Spitzer / Greg Trooper When you’re in country You got a job to do Maybe right or wrong But it’s not up to you Sometimes put a friend On the freedom bird Sometimes light a match Watch a village burn When you’re in country Just get through the day One false move Could blow your ass away I saw a brother fall And to my surprise My very first thought Better you than I When you’re in country And you gotta go Bring fallen brothers in So they can send them home For the very first time In your very young life You got to stare into A dead man’s eyes Nobody knows, nobody sees What it’s like my friend To be in country Some find hope I know it’s hard to believe Some score dope Some never want to leave Whatever it is Whoever you might be You’re never the same Once you’re in country
2.
EVERY SOLDIER'S STORY Tom Gilmore / Peter Nardolillo / Darden Smith Tom goes down to the wall But he can’t face the names So many have heard the call It’s a damn shame It feels like it was yesterday They took our youth away Where would they all be today Every soldier has a story He lives it day to day It never goes away The pain is here to stay Every soldier has a story And every soldier’s story is the same People say that was years ago Man forget about it But that’s what brought these tears you know The man needs to talk about it It’s like it happened yesterday Who’s gonna listen to what he has to say It ain’t the damned VA Tom could be Pete Pete could be Bob Bob could be anyone The stories are the same Ends with different names What if it was your son Or your brother, or your father Or your sister, or your mother It could be anyone
3.
BEST OF CHRISTMAS Peter Nardolillo / Thomas Gilmore / Bill Keyes / Jay Clementi Sitting out here with my new family telling Stories from home round a cutout Christmas tree With blinking lights plugged to a white generator Hot turkey supper straight from a dehydrator Praying we're blessed Scared to death Making the best of Christmas Just improvising laughing to keep from crying Bragging on our moms homemade pie Wishing it was colder looking over our shoulder While we're singing Silent Night Got my baby taped to my vest We're just making the best of Christmas Ed's got a girlfriend says she's a model Mailed him some Crown in a Listerine bottle We passed it around, it didn't last too long We're all hoping something doesn't go wrong Saying we're blessed Lying to death Making the best of Christmas Just improvising laughing to keep from crying Bragging on our moms' homemade pie Wishing it was colder looking over our shoulder While we’re singing Silent Night Got my baby taped to my vest We're just making the best of Christmas No dessert left Play some cards I guess Making the best of Christmas ©2013 Warner Chappell / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
4.
Tough Shit 02:55
TOUGH SHIT Darden Smith & Group Tough shit buddy tough shit Get in line like all the rest Tough shit buddy tough shit Everybody’s just doing their best Everybody’s trying to get over on somebody Feeling ground up into little bitty pieces I feel like my hands 're on the trigger I feel hot inside, I got to release it I say get your selfish ass out the door Or you’ll wind up on the floor You might think I’m whining But you don’t know where I’ve been You don’t know the baggage I carry You don’t know the shape I’m in You might think I’m looking out for myself But I did my time looking for everyone else But back off buddy get out of my face I’ve earned the right to have my space You might like the words I speak It’s high time I said my piece
5.
Everyone Is Different Brian Gardy / Joe Lydon / Greg Trooper Everyone is different Everyone’s the same Who knows what we’re doing Who knows why we came We look in your eyes Do we see trust? Do we see blame? Everyone is different Everyone’s the same We want for our children Shelter from the storm Cover up our families Keep them safe and warm We’re from another time zone But like you we all have names Everyone is different Everyone’s the same You told us we were dreaming And it was our dream never yours Then tell us what your dreams are Tell us what we’re shooting for Everyone is different Everyone’s the same If you were standing in our shoes And to our shores your armies came When you looked into our eyes Would you see trust? would you see blame? Everyone is different Everyone’s the same
6.
Damage Done 02:56
DAMAGE DONE Tom Gilmore / Peter Nardolillo / Darden Smith I’m afraid to go to sleep Faces I won’t meet Names I’ll never know Where’d they go My brothers and my friends Stories in the wind Here then they’re gone No right or wrong Some folks have all the luck Some have none The damage done When I was a little boy I had soldier toys It was hard to tell Why some fell Some came home To sit alone Pretend they’re doing well In a living hell Some folks have all the luck Some have none The damage done I’m torn inside No place left to hide There’s still a hole In my soldier's soul Some folks have all the luck Some have none With the damage done I’m not the only one Look around you some Damage done
7.
Your Gun 03:35
YOUR GUN Thomas Gilmore / Bill Keyes / Peter Nardolillo / Jay Clementi It was cold and storming that day That I walked into the county VA Ma’am I’ve never been here before She said, All I need is your last four Sorry to say but we just learned, there was a fire in St. Louis And all of your records have burned So what you’re trying to say Is there's more bullets coming my way I gotta tell you ma'am it's hard to believe This country’s turning its back on me After everything I've done, living and dying by your gun She said, Can you call somebody that served with you To verify that your story is true Ma'am all the proof is on that wall, everybody I knew, There's no one left to call So are you trying to say There's more bullets coming my way I gotta tell you ma'am it's hard to believe This country’s turning its back on me After everything I've done, living and dying by your gun I'm hurting right now Must be some mistake I'm all out of rounds Let me get this straight Are you trying to say There's more bullets coming my way I gotta tell you ma’am it's hard to believe This country’s turning its back on me After everything I've done, just another American son Living and dying by your gun
8.
The Question 02:44
THE QUESTION IS Joe Lydon / Sam Spitzberg / Darden Smith My buddy Peter we joked about girls I liked Iron Butterfly he like the Temptations The one thing we never talked about Was the shit that we were facing He was my brother when we were under attack Till that night he didn’t come back Why not me Why not me The question is Why not me I was one step ahead, one step behind I was at wrong place at the right time I was a dead man waiting for my day to come And that’s still in the back of my mind I bought a life insurance policy tried to cash in So many lost, I’m the one that wins It should've been me It should’ve been me The question is Why wasn’t it me A bullet don’t ask what’s your MOS A bullet has a job to do War is hell it’s kill or be killed There’s no rules Others move on, others forgive They stop asking why I got to live They’re living the minutes living the days They’ve been given, they’re not throwing it away But I’m not there yet, buddy give me some time I’m still fighting that war inside of my mind Why not me Why not me The question is Can I ever be free
9.
SEARCHING FOR WHY Brian Gardy / Joe Lydon / Greg Trooper Here I am searching for why Why am I feeling this way I’ll forgive you right here and now But can’t forgive my own mistakes I’ve seen things no one should seen I’ve done things no one should do Why is the world built this way I can’t find an answer can you Maybe just maybe I can Unlock this pain inside If I lend a helping hand To someone else lost wondering why A young innocent girl is gone Nothing can bring her back My rucksack is heavier now Then it was when I left for Iraq She was just coming to say goodbye Never saw her step behind my Humvee Until I can figure out why From this pain I’ll never be free Maybe just maybe I can Unlock this pain inside If I lend a helping hand To someone else lost wondering why I’m walking around and around It’s time to start moving ahead It’s time to stop looking for why And look for forgiveness instead Here I am, searching for why
10.
FORGIVE MYSELF Bob Naimo / Sam Spitzberg / Darden Smith I’m learning to live I’m learning to forgive I’m gonna be alright If I can make it through tonight And learn to forgive myself The guy I used to be Is just a memory I wish you could understand That I’m a different man I lost my faith I lost my trust I lost who I was My friends and my family They want the old me They think I’m just a mess They say I drink more and talk less I know dark I know pain I know my heart is stained I want to get to that place Where I can want to want to find a way To want to see another day I’m learning to forgive Learning to live I think I’ll be alright I want to see the light I won’t stop till I forgive myself
11.
Hands 03:23
HANDS Brian Gardy / Joe Lydon / Jay Clementi I'm a 22 year-old cavalry scout Up in the gun on 50 cal A car ran the checkpoint the only thing to do Was just like we were trained, shout, show then shoot But a bullet has a mind of its own In an instant an innocent little boy was gone And here I am, here I am With blood on my hands I'm a 51 year-old combat MP Thought I'd just about seen everything Till I arrived at the carnage there was so damned much blood I didn't recognize the kid that I covered up Then somebody said that was Pig Pen That Missouri country boy that was my good friend And here I am, here I am With blood on my hands I can tell you all about it standing right here You can even sigh and nod your head, you might even shed a tear But you just can't understand, ‘Til you’ve had blood on your hands Wars pass on just like my best friends But the battle still rages inside my head And here I am, here I am With blood on my hands I can tell you all about it standing right here You can sigh and nod your head, you might even shed a tear But you just can't understand, ‘Til you’ve had blood on your hands Blood on your hands
12.
THE POSITIVE SIDE Bob Naimo / Darden Smith I was there in the Tet offensive I seen the bodies in the wire I flew in the helicopters I took their fire I came home they called me names After all I’d done It’s not like I had any choice in the matter I fought for your freedom I can take anything you throw at me No matter what happens I’m gonna see The positive side of things The good where others see bad The positive of living this life I’ve had I hate to say it but the darkest things Can just become second nature I wasn’t thinking I was doing For so long I’d do anything not to face it I just blocked it out, tried not think about What I did to that Mama-san Now I’m trying to make a brand new day From the damage that I've done Every precious day I have is mine Living in the past is a waste of time I’ve just got one life to live Maybe I had to do what I did so I could learn to forgive

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Songwriters include Jay Clementi, Darden Smith, and Greg Trooper.

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released May 16, 2014

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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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