SW​:​S Retreat March 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 and spouses participated:
    Mardi and Chanda Allen, Zaak Thibodeaux and Marlena Ancelet Thibodeaux, Bryan and Tina Dykes, Brad and Tricia Hubbard, Debbie and Jason Parsons, Scott and Gail Rineer participated in the January 2018 retreat. These songs are their stories from this retreat.
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about

All purchases are tax-deductible donations to SongwritingWith:Soldiers.

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.

These songs are their stories from this retreat:
Mardi and Chanda Allen, Zaak Thibodeaux and Marlena Ancelet Thibodeaux, Bryan and Tina Dykes, Brad and Tricia Hubbard, Debbie and Jason Parsons, Scott and Gail Rineer participated in the January 2018 retreat. These songs are their stories.

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released April 13, 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: STRESS AND STRENGTH
Mardi and Chanda Allen / Zaak Thibodeaux and Marlena Ancelet / Bryan and Tina Dykes / Brad and Tricia Hubbard / Debbie and Jason Parsons / Scott and Gail Rineer / Darden Smith

Stress and strength makes me drink
Makes me mad makes me think
Makes me want to go back to the good old days
I wish I could make all of this struggle go away
I just want to…

Find some peace of mind
Happy place where I am free
Finally come home where I can be me

Caught between stress and strength

Bad memories everywhere
I just want peace, can’t get there
I’m so tired of this roller coaster ride
Can’t find myself no matter how hard I try,

I just want to find peace of mind
Happy place where I am free
Finally come home where I can be me

Caught between stress and strength
Stress and strength

Don’t want to be alone
So let me come home
For myself for my brothers be everything that I was meant to be
Just rewind to a sweeter time
From the pills and nightmares and the anger let me be a normal me
From the pills and nightmares and the anger let me be a normal me

I just want to find peace of mind
Happy place where I am free
Finally come home where I can be me

Caught between stress and strength
I’m caught between stress and strength
Caught between stress and strength

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: THIS ROCK
Terry Radigan / Brad and Trish Hubbard

I’m not fine
And I haven’t been
For a long long time
And it’s getting harder to pretend

Oh but pretend
You know it’s all I’ve done
Ask anyone who knows me
They’ll say she’s a rock
Shinny like the sun

But this rock is sinking
This rock is going down
Day after day in slow motion
I scream but there’s no sound
And you’re the only one
I can tell my troubles to
But babe I’m so afraid
To put the weight on you

Cause you’ve been broken
In a million pieces
A breath away from checking out
So I got on my knees
and I asked Jesus
To give me strength
For the both of us
But these days I’m afraid
I don’t feel nearly strong enough

Your rock is sinking
Your rock is going down
Day after day in slow motion
I scream but there’s no sound
And you’re the only one
I can tell my troubles to
But babe I’m so afraid
To put the weight on you

So take me back
To the hills of Tennessee
Take me back to the place
Where you
Got down on one knee
And you took my hand
And held it in yours
Take me back to where I was strong
Take me back before the war

Cause your rock is sinking
Your rock is going down
Day after day in slow motion
I scream but there’s no sound
And you’re the only one
I wanna tell my troubles to
Babe tell me it’s ok
To put the weight on you

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Catherine the Great (ASCAP)
Track Name: SKY SOLDIERS
Jay Clementi / Zaak & Marlena Thibodeaux

Jay Clementi / Zaak & Marlena Thibodeaux

173rd airborne combat brigade
Bad assed hard headed American made
We’d sing “take it outside” gearing up for a fight
Lived for raining hell, brothers side by side

We were good buddies Glende and me
Said don’t be a hero unless you need to be
He inspired us all with his wit and his strength
His patriotism and that smile on his face we were

Sky Soldiers yeah living for this ride with our brothers
Held each other’s lives on our shoulders
We were Sky Soldiers

July 27th 2012
A firefight turned into real living hell
Glende was trying to rescue Moss
Gonna save his brother no matter the cost

But mortars are evil have a will of their own
And one sent Glende on a hero flight home
I carried him to that bird and held his hand
And cried as that hawk left Afghanistan

Sky Soldiers living for this ride with our brothers
Held each other’s lives on our shoulders
Sky Soldiers

Well I struggle with faith and I rage and scream
How could he take such a dear friend to me
And I wish I could say that I believe
I don’t pray to god I pray to Glende

We were Sky soldiers
We never questioned how far
Had the depth fate to go as far as needed
And the will and the strength to never be defeated

Sky Soldiers living yeah for this ride with our brothers
We held each other’s lives on our shoulders
Sky Soldiers

Yeah oh we were Sky Soldiers

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Sony ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP)
Track Name: SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL
Ashley Cleveland / Jason & Debbie Parsons

One leaves for the desert
One stays on the farm
Remember everyone deploys
But the worst storm I’ve seen in Missouri
Was the loss of our two boys
Lightning struck us twice
How do we survive?

Who else knows my thoughts, my soul
Who else could understand?
Who else can feel the hurt that has no words
And choose to live again
Who else knows the burdens that we bear
Who else shares my memories
And that darlin, something beautiful
Exists for you and me

I watched you down on your hands and knees
There by the side of the road
The second time they put our son in a coroners van
You offered up everything we own
But now what’s done is done
And you told me: I can’t do this alone

Who else knows my thoughts, my soul
Who else could understand?
Who else can feel the hurt that has no words
And choose to live again
Who else knows the burdens that we bear
Who else shares my memories
And that darlin, something beautiful
Exists for you and me

Through the high high high
Through the low low low
I want to hold your hand everywhere I go.

Because darlin, something beautiful
Yes darlin, something beautiful
Exists for you and me

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Sole Sister (BMI)
Track Name: SELFLESS
Darden Smith / Zaak & Marlena Thibodeaux

I’ve had so many sleepless nights
I’d stare at the screen and cry
I’d still see Afghanistan
See the faces of my friends
Images don’t go away
Like it happened yesterday

Selfless, selfless
The shield against the storm
Keeping all from harm
Why do we lose the best
Selfless

Broken glass and loaded guns
I thought my race could not be won
Then you came into my life
My friend my savior and my wife
I pray that you won’t go away
You’re the light in all my days

Selfless, selfless
My shield against the storm
In your loving arms
I can finally rest
Selfless

If everyone understood
That giving is the greatest good
A lot less pain a lot less grief
A lot more love and a lot more peace

Selfless, selfless
In the raging storm
Keeping us from harm
Those that give their best
Selfless, selfless

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: WE'RE NOT THE ENEMY
Darden Smith / Ashley Cleveland / Scott & Gail Rineer

I’m not the enemy
You’re not the enemy
We go round and round, trying to get down
To the root of all our misery
You want to fight everyday
I just want to walk away
How much longer till we see
We are not the enemy

You give information
No communication
You listen but you don’t hear
You’ve always been the fixer
But now we’re in a picture
How did we get here
We take our armor off
We put our armor on
But the thing we’ve missed
All along

I don’t like to fail
I know I love you Gail
I know I’ve caused you pain
This was not the plan
For this middle aged man
This is not how I was trained
We take our armor off
We put our armor on
But the thing we’ve missed
All along

To make our house a home
Together not alone

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP) / Sole Sister (BMI)
Track Name: JUST PRAY
Jay Clementi / Bryan & Tina Dykes

He’d call around the time I put the kids to bed
Each time was longer in between
We wouldn’t talk for months sometime
But I would go to him in my dreams

Oh I still remember that call
He was just so cold and gone
Even further than the miles between us
I felt so lost and alone

All i could do was pray pray pray listen to sad old love songs
Every single day
I would just cry and sing along
And I would Pray Pray Pray

It was a constant heartache everyday
Not knowing if he’ll come home
Without him I’m not who I am
He’s half of my heart and soul

I would just pray pray pray listen to sad love songs
Every single day
I would just cry and sing along
And I would Pray Pray Pray

I know it sounds strange to say
But one night I heard god clear as day
Say he’s gonna be ok He’s gonna be ok

But he’s gonna come back broken
He’s gonna come back hurting
And he’s gonna need you
He’s gonna need your Grace

So I’m just gonna pray pray pray and listen to some brand new love songs
Keep the faith and until he comes home
I’ll just pray pray pray

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Sony ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP)
Track Name: I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW
Ashley Cleveland / Chanda Allen

Ashley Cleveland / Chanda Allen

I don’t want to hurt your feelings
I know you’ve heard it all before
Sometimes I feel like you don’t get it
I can’t hold it in anymore

I just want you to hear me
I just want you to know
It’s the little things that mean something to me
Like: “Baby how did your day go?”

I’m a simple woman
I don’t need to be wined and dined
I just want you to get me
I want you to take the time

I want you to play with the children
Instead of the video games
I want you to make a connection
Do I really have to explain?

Well I know I’ve got a lot of symptoms
And I need to be in control
But I want you to see me trying
Even when it doesn’t show

You want more affection
But I’m stuck in fight or flight
And I need you to have compassion
And see me working to get it right

I just want you to know
And take it straight to heart
You’re the one I love
And maybe that’s the place to start

You’re the one I love
And maybe that’s the place to start

You’re the one I love
And maybe that’s the place to start

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Sole Sister (BMI)
Track Name: YOU OPENED MY EYES
Darden Smith / Zaak & Marlena Thibodeaux

You tell me I don’t understand
Your right I don’t think I can
But I can love you all the same
Even in the middle of your pain

You opened my eyes
You opened my heart
To sacrifice
That’s where it starts
It never ends
Cause everyday
We start again
In so many ways
You opened my eyes
You opened my eyes

I was just a hometown girl
Didn’t know a thing about your world
The uniform, the strength, the nerve
And what it takes to really serve

Til you opened my eyes
You opened my heart
To sacrifice
That’s where it starts
It never ends
Cause everyday
We start again
In so many ways
You opened my eyes
You opened my eyes

Now I know how to live
How to rise above
What it means to really love

You opened my eyes
You opened my heart
To sacrifice
That’s where it starts
It never ends
Everyday
We start again
In so many ways
You opened my eyes
You opened my eyes

You opened my eyes

You opened my eyes

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: EASY AGAIN
Jay Clementi / Terry Radigan / Mardi & Chanda Allen

I don’t do funerals, I don’t do tears
I don’t do feelings, I don’t do here

I break you down when I should build you up
I know that’s not who I was when we fell in love

I just want it to be easy again
Like it was on our first weekend
Sitting in a matinee of Spiderman and you held my hand
Just sitting there together didn’t ever want it to end
I just want it to be easy again

I don’t do dishes or pop XM stations
I don’t do all stressed out or confrontation

I don’t want my kids sleeping in our bed
I want to feel you next to me when I lay down my head

I just want it to be easy again
Like it was on our first weekend
Sitting in a matinee of Spiderman and you held my hand
Just sitting there together didn’t ever want it to end
I just want it to be easy again

Oo why we gotta make it so hard
Can’t we just go back to the start

I just want it to be easy again
Like it was one our first weekend
Sitting in a matinee of Spiderman and you held my hand
Just sitting there together didn’t never want it to end
I just want it to be easy again

I miss my best friend
Easy Again
You’re my woman, Oo baby your’ my man
I just want it to be Easy again

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Sony ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP) / Catherine the Great (ASCAP)
Track Name: GRATEFUL
Darden Smith / Terry Radigan / Tina & Brian Dykes / Debbie & Jason Parsons / Brad & Trish Hubbard

Grateful for the bright sunshine
Grateful that this day is mine
I can feel your love here next to me
I can be whoever I want to be
I’m just grateful
Grateful

I lost myself somewhere along the way
When I was down so low I heard the angel say
I’m not going anywhere send those demons away
Get your shit together you’re gonna be ok

Just be grateful for the bright sunshine
I’m just grateful that this day is mine
I can feel your love here next to me
I can be whoever I want to be
I’m just grateful
Grateful

If you’re sinking down thru every shade of black
You gotta turn the corner and get yourself back
And get yourself ready for the angel call
Be the seed in the dark ground waiting for the rain to fall

And be grateful for the bright sunshine
Grateful that this day is mine
I can feel your love here next to me
I can be whoever I want to be
I’m just grateful
Grateful

If you get up, if you get knocked down
Get out of your mind, and look around
Trust in faith and rise above
Let the hope come in and feel the love

And be grateful for the bright sunshine
Grateful that this day is mine
I can feel your love here next to me
I can be whoever I want to be
I’m just grateful
Grateful
I got a great big plateful
Grateful
Yeah I’m just grateful
Grateful
Grateful

SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP) / Catherine the Great (ASCAP)

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