SW​:​S Retreat - February 2016

by SongwritingWith:Soldiers

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    Our retreats pair professional songwriters with veterans, military families, and active-duty service members to write songs about their military experiences and returning home. Santonio Hoke, Tyler Magerkurth, Barbara Ann Malone-Verduin, Nisha Money, Courtney Pace, Rachel Ries, Rudy Rudolph, Jaime Santiago, Yajaira Villafane, John Wall, and Clay Webster participated in the February 2016 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.
Through It 03:49
THROUGH IT Rachel Ries / Radney Foster I was running to combat to hide the truth But there's hell to pay when it catches up with you A Blackhawk Med-Evac flying into hot zones I remember the first one dying from his own gunshot wound. You can't pretty it up, can't church it up or smooth it out It's way too hard for most of us to ever hear about But I'm never gonna get better Painting that Disneyland picture The truth is the only thing that's ever gonna do it So I'm working through it. The only way through hell is to just keep walking So before you cut sling on me, that's why I'm talking You find your real friends when things get tough They carried me to redemption when I didn't have enough You can't pretty it up, can't church it up or smooth it out It's way too hard for most of us to ever hear about But I'm never gonna get better Painting that Disneyland picture The truth is the only thing that's ever gonna do it So I keep walking through it. Howie turned the wheel just before the truck hit Too many nights I thought the guilt would never quit But today I'm forgiving myself for just living Yea, forgiving myself for just living You can't pretty it up, can't church it up or smooth it out It's way too hard for most of us to ever talk about But I'm never gonna get better Painting that Disneyland picture The truth is the only thing that's ever gonna do it So I'm talking through it © 2016 Alamo Lounge Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
2.
All Heart 03:52
ALL HEART Courtney Pace / Ashley Cleveland I was a combat journalist Telling everybody’s story but mine Now I’m an Intel officer And everything I know is classified I’m not Jack Bauer I’m not Ethan Hunt I’m a SERE C graduate Yet I struggle with confidence But if you ask me who I am and what I want I’m all heart I want to live out loud I’m all heart Stand up in a crowd The army may not like unique But that’s too bad, cause this is me That’s too bad, yeah this is me There may be cooler people Like those guys that kick in doors But comparison will steal my joy And life is just a little too short I may be super anal retentive But I’m a soldier that gives a damn I’ll give you everything and then some Just to prove to myself I can And I’m ready with an answer if you ask me who I am I’m all heart I want to live out loud I’m all heart Stand up in a crowd The army may not like unique But that’s too bad, cause this is me Yeah that’s too bad, this is me I don’t know where I’m going But a change is in the air Every day before me Is another chance to declare I’m all heart I want to live out loud I’m all heart Stand up in a crowd The army may not like unique But that’s too bad, cause this is me Yeah that’s too bad, this is me © 2016 Sole Sister Music (BMI) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
3.
Esperanza 02:24
ESPERANZA Yajaira Villafane / Radney Foster Quiero esperanza para mis hijas Que no vivan la vida que yo vivi Quiero esperanza para mis hijas Que no sufran lo que yo sufri Afghanistan and Iraq Nightmares of the roads I drove I pray they never see something like that And I'm sorry for the darkness I brought home Quiero esperanza para mis hijas Que no vivan la vida que yo vivi Quiero esperanza para mis hijas Que no vean las cosas que yo vi Esperanza, Esperanza Dame la fuerza para ayudarlas Para que ellas sigan adelante Quiero esperanza para mis hijas Que no vivan la vida que yo vivi Quiero esperanza para mis hijas Que no vean las cosas que yo vi Que no sufran lo que yo sufri Esperanza © 2016 Alamo Lounge Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
4.
I FEEL IT NOW Rudy Rudolph / Radney Foster / Darden Smith Freedom ain’t a flag Freedom lies deep inside I got tired of catching myself In the same old lies Like I’m alright and I’m ok I was putting off the truth till another day And another sundown I got tired of living that way I feel it now I can feel it now After being afraid for so very long Like my old friend come back around A lucky penny laying on the ground The part of my heart I thought had moved on I can feel it now I feel it now Broke ain’t broken It’s just another state in your mind I kept my guard up But the hurt snuck in every time I had to get my head out of my hands Learn to crawl before I could stand Getting right with wrong Sure gets real You’d be surprised What fear can steal I can feel it now I feel it now After being afraid for so very long Like my old friend come back around A lucky penny laying on the ground The part of my heart I thought had moved on I feel it now I can feel it now After being afraid for so very long I thought the worst that could happen was die Now I see it’s wasting precious time And the part of my heart I thought had moved on I can feel it now I feel it now I can feel it now I feel it now Alamo Lounge Music / Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
5.
GET MY GROOVE BACK Barbara Malone-Verdune / Jay Clementi I was a happy go lucky Daughter, dancer and a poet With pride in my soul and a song in my heart I used to be trusting and loving Looking at me now you wouldn’t know it Where there was a fire there ain’t even a spark I want to find the me again The girl that had the world in her hands That laughed and cared and believed in herself With a spirit free and wild as hell I want to get my groove back How do I do that I want to get my groove back There’s a haunting rhythm in the desert I can’t get out of my head And the crazy pain of those days was endless Maybe they’ll always be tethered To a part of me that’s dead Why are those memories so relentless I want to find the me again The girl that had the world in her hands That laughed and cared and believed in herself With a spirit free and wild as hell I want to get my groove back How do I do that I want to get my groove back My heart needs to dance again, dance again How do I begin, tell me how do I begin I want to find the me again The girl that had the world in her hands That laughed and cared and believed in herself With a spirit free and wild as hell I want to get my groove back How do I do that I want to get my groove back © 2016 Sony ATV Cross Keys / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
6.
Every Minute 04:03
EVERY MINUTE John Wall / Radney Foster / Darden Smith Every minute is a precious thing And I want to soak up all the blessings that love brings In a minute it could slip away That’s why I want you in it every minute Life ain’t got no guarantees So when my little girl says daddy would you read to me I try to find the presence of mind to turn off that TV And not say Sugar, I’ll be there in a minute Every minute is a precious thing And I want to soak up all the blessings that life brings In a minute it could slip away That’s why I want to be in it every minute We’re both work hard all day long Evening comes and we wonder where the time has gone When I got the world up on my shoulder what I need the most Is to hold you close just for a minute Every minute is a precious thing And I want to soak up all the blessings your love brings In a minute it could slip away That’s why I want love in it every minute I need your love in it every minute I’m putting my heart in it every minute Time flies by You and I Should live inside The ties that bind As time flies by Every minute every minute I want love in it every minute © 2016 Alamo Lounge Music / Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
7.
IN EVERY MOMENT Santonio Hoke / Ashley Cleveland In every moment I thought I had it figured out In every moment I knew what life was all about Handling myself like a man Moving up the chain of command Til trouble like a storm blew in And it felt like dyin when I lost my way I spent a lot of time cryin, had I made a mistake? When I thought about living All I could do was pray And in every moment you never went away In every moment I get to know myself again In every moment I fall in love with my best friend And I look into our baby’s eyes I know I’m blessed and I realize The purpose of my life began When I felt like dyin and I lost my way I spent a lot of time cryin, had I made a mistake? When I thought about living All I could do was pray And in every moment you never went away Now I feel like living and I know my way I spend a lot of time thanking you for every mistake When I worry bout dyin All I gotta to do is pray Cause in every moment you never went away © 2016 Sole Sister Music (BMI) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
8.
Winner 03:50
WINNER Tyler Magerkurth / Darden Smith Everything looks great on paper I should have no complaints But when I look in the mirror All I see is all that I ain’t I used to be the life of the party Now I’ve got nothing to say Life comes towards me I walk the other way I just want to feel like a winner I just want feel like a winner again It’s all fun and games on paper Till the day you understand That life is pretty random And it’s all out of your hands I’m worn out from worrying bout what might go wrong I used to be so laid back I’d do anything to get the train Upright on the track I just want to feel like a winner I just want to feel like a winner I just want feel like a winner again I just want to feel like a winner again It’s the lack of understanding It’s the lack of love Makes a man get angry And pick up a gun We’re all humans Brother can you see Underneath our skin You’re the same as me We all want to feel like a winner We all want to feel like a winner I just want to feel like a winner again I just want to feel like a winner again © 2016 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
9.
ALWAYS FOR LOVE Jaime Santiago / Jay Clementi / Radney Foster Memories sneak up on me Take me down without warning I see that permanent solution To a temporary problem I think of the ones I love so much And all it would do is rob them Por amor me recuerdo Por amor I remember Always for love All that pain and suffering Almost stole our forever Love was just too strong It pulled our hearts back together Por amor me recuerdo Por amor I remember Always for love I talk to God when it hits me Pray He helps me conquer Waves of sadness washing over me So I can make peace with the monsters Por amor me recuerdo Por amor I remember Por amor me recuerdo Por amor I remember Always for love Always for love Siempre amor Always for love Siempre amor © 2016 Sony ATV Cross Keys / Alamo Lounge Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
10.
The Watch 03:16
THE WATCH Clay Webster / Ashley Cleveland / Darden Smith I’m pulling the rev watch again Section leader ain’t my friend Busted my ass all day long To stay up with a telephone There’s a drunk watch down in medical Timmy came back with shore patrol Nothing else to be passed down Relieve the watch and settle down I’m a sailor in the Navy I’ve got 90 reasons why I can’t close my eyes Looking out beyond the horizon line In the dead of night I can’t close my eyes I’m a half a world away From where I was on the day That I saw the towers fall That was when I heard the call I never set out to save the world But I remember that little girl Tears on her face fear in her heart I stood up to do my part I’m a sailor in the Navy I’ve got 90 reasons why I can’t close my eyes Looking out beyond the horizon line In the dead of night I can’t close my eyes So I’m counting lines in the log book Shoot the shit with the morning cook Swept the quarter deck two times A little bit bored but I don’t mind Standing tall for all to see I hold the line of liberty In the darkest hour of the night I keep freedom shining bright I’m a sailor in the Navy I’ve got 90 reasons why I can’t close my eyes Looking out beyond the horizon line In the dead of night I can’t close my eyes © 2016 Sole Sister Music (BMI) / Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
11.
Healer 03:06
THE HEALER Nisha Money / Jay Clementi They come to me when they’re hurting And when their pain meds ain’t working They don’t know that I’m feeling Like the healer needs some healing I’m supposed to be the strong one Yeah and never get lonesome Who’s gonna do the dealing When the healer need some healing When the masks comes off Mine stays on There’s no time to fall apart Always gotta play the part From dusk to dawn, dawn to dusk Mine are the hands they trust I just don’t wanna drop the ball Forever living life on call I’m always giving all of me Can’t let em see when I feel empty Guess the truth that I’m concealing Is the healer needs some healing When the masks comes off Mine stays on There’s no time to fall apart Always gotta play the part From dusk to dawn, dawn to dusk Mine are the hands they trust I just don’t wanna drop the ball Forever living life on call Now the inspiration’s falling I can hear my spirit’s calling And the truth that it’s revealing Is the healer needs some healing Joy’s just always out of reach I’m gonna practice what I preach My soul needs some redeeming This healer needs some healing © 2016 Sony ATV Cross Keys / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
12.
Dreams 03:50
DREAMS Darden Smith & Group I’ve got these dreams that never happened Hopes and wishes love and ambition All that I didn’t do Gotta tap into my faith Take it to a different state I’m gonna make my dreams come true All the times I wish I could’ve slept away And the memories keep me wide awake While I was serving my country Life got in the way I’ve got these dreams that never happened Hopes and wishes love and ambition All that I didn’t do Gotta tap into my faith Take it to a different state I’m gonna make my dreams come true I want to make up all the lost time Make a change in my state of mind While I’m out here living, trying to make decisions Looking for a brand new mission I’ve got these dreams that never happened Hopes and wishes love and ambition All that I didn’t do Gotta tap into my faith Take it to a different state I’m gonna make my dreams come true We all need a purpose to know the sacrifice is worth it One step one breath one thought one day at a time I’m owning where I’m going Make my life mine I’ve got these dreams that never happened Hopes and wishes love and ambition All that I didn’t do Gotta tap into my faith Take it to a different state I’m gonna make my dreams come true © 2016 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)

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released March 16, 2016

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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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