SW​:​S Retreat May AZ 2019

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 in the May 2019 retreat: Jim and Robyn Barklow / Sherri Beck / Sam and Wren Brasfield / Ray and Esme Conard / Jeff and Trish Dawson / Duke and Daphne Vega
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released June 3, 2019

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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: GIBRALTAR
GIBRALTAR

Jeff and Trish Dawson / Maia Sharp

I can’t believe you see what you see
Then you come home to me with a goofy smile
I can’t believe we laugh like we do
After we’ve been through trial after trial

You’re my rock and when you’re gone
I could break down or sing this song

I’m not gonna crumble
I’m not gonna falter
I’m not gonna disappear under the water
I’m gonna stay stronger than I’ve ever known
But when you come home
You’re still my Gibraltar

It’s not like when you walk through the door
I’m not strong anymore and we’re not burning both ends of the candle
But I know with you by my side
Even the craziest rollercoaster ride
Is nothing we can’t handle

My rock and when you’re gone
I could slide off or carry on

I’m not gonna crumble
I’m not gonna falter
I’m not gonna disappear under the water
I’m gonna stay stronger than I’ve ever known
But when you come home
You’re still my Gibraltar

Hard to find peace when the only constant is chaos
When the lonely takes over and I can’t have you in my arms

I’m not gonna crumble
I’m not gonna falter
I’m not gonna disappear under the water
Yeah, I’m stronger than I’ve ever known
And when you come home
You’re my Gibraltar

© 2019 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) /
Crooked Crown Music (BMI)
Track Name: GOD'S TIMING (THE PHOENIX AND THE WREN)
GOD'S TIMING (THE PHOENIX AND THE WREN)

Sam and Wren Brasfield / Will Kimbrough

The first time that we met we took off running
Two grown up kids out looking for some fun
Who knew we’d stay the course and raise a family?
20 years and we’re still on the run
That time we missed our turn cause we couldn’t stop talking
Looking back, we never had a doubt
I left behind the ones that I could live with
For the one that I just could not live without

Now we know it’s all God’s perfect timing
And everything is in his perfect plan
When life is fast and crazy flying by me
It’s something we can trust and understand
It’s just God’s timing

She loves the sunshine like we love our babies
I’m a diver of the sea and of the sky
Through 16 times we’ve been moved by the Navy
She’s still the love of my life, the reason I’m alive
We’ve made our nest wherever we’ve been planted
We’ve weathered winter storms and hurricanes
We keep finding someplace warm and sandy
on the Redneck Riviera, baby, maybe we should stay

And give our thanks for all God’s perfect timing
For everything that’s in his perfect plan
Cause life is fast and crazy flying by me
But we can know and trust and understand
It’s just God’s timing

Now when I think back on our beginnings
And every morning when we start again
Our strength is in commitment, not just winning
So we’ll always be the Phoenix and the Wren

Now we know it’s all God’s perfect timing
And everything is in his perfect plan
When life is fast and crazy flying by me
It’s something we can trust and understand
And give our thanks for all God’s perfect timing
For everything that’s in his perfect plan
Cause life is fast and crazy flying by me
But we can know and trust and understand
It’s just God’s timing

© 2019 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) /
Will Kimbrough Music BMI admin by Bluewater Music
Track Name: MIRACLES ON MIRACLES
MIRACLES ON MIRACLES

Ray & Esme Conard / Darden Smith

It’s miracles on miracles
Love on love, grace that never ends
I believed in what I couldn’t see
Now you’re here in front of me
It’s a miracle on miracles

At night I fall asleep it’s like I’m dreaming
In the morning when I wake up next to you
I can’t believe the road brought us together
I can’t believe this dream came true
Everyone is fallen
So that we can see
The beauty in the broken
In you and me

We all make choices we all do some damage
But the deepest wounds are the sweetest wounds to heal
I was on the bottom ready for the rising
And mercy showed me that my God is real
Everyone has fallen
Everyone knows shame
We are all forgiven
He broke the chain

One day to the next into tomorrow
Tomorrow turns to years on down the line
When the end comes round there won’t be sorrow
Together we will get there side by side

© 2019 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: NEW LIFE
NEW LIFE

Sam and Wren Brasfield / Jim and Robyn Barklow / Jeff and Trish Dawson / Ray and Esme Conard / Duke and Daphne Vega / Darden Smith

Sometimes it gets a little hard to breathe
Sometimes it gets a little hard to see
The best in me the best in you
The beauty unconditional love so true
The pain and the hopelessness
So blue

I want to breathe new life
Into our love
So that we can
Rise above
Rise above

We built it on trust, respect and heart
True companion, we traveled so far
True best friend, passion and bliss
Fear and peace all in your kiss
Serenity in your eyes
So blue

I want to breathe new life
Into our love
So that we can
Rise above
Rise above

So we get stronger
For whatever tomorrow might bring
Powerful bond powerful love
Ready for anything

I want to breathe new life
Into our love
So that we can
Rise above
Rise above

© 2019 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: THE LONG WALK HOME
THE LONG WALK HOME

Sherri Beck / Sam and Wren Brasfield / Jim and Robyn Barklow / Jeff and Trish Dawson / Ray and Esme Conard / Duke and Daphne Vega / Maia Sharp / Will Kimbrough / Darden Smith

Taking the long walk it’ll go wrong or right, it’s black and white
Somebody shoots at me I shoot back
I don’t have to talk, I push through the pain like I was trained
I’m taking the long walk

Taking the long walk down the stairs, she’s waiting there
Most scared I’ve ever been
Another kind of shell shock, fight or flight, no black or white
Taking the long walk

Home where I want to be
Home do you still want me
Home, will you come with me
On the long walk home

I’m taking the long walk I see your face, looking out of place
I’ve been waiting here for you
I wish you would just talk, I’m holding back the tears, fighting off my fears
Taking the long walk

Keeping the home fires burning, holding down the fort
Suddenly it’s all on me, I don’t want that anymore

Home where I want to be
Home do you still want me
Home will you come with me
On the long walk home

Drop the stones that we carry
They’re a burden and a weight
Be my sanctuary
Before it’s too late

Home where I want to be
Home do you still want me
Home will you come with me
On the long walk

Home where safe to rest
Home what a beautiful mess
Home we are brave and blessed
On the long walk home

© 2019 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP) /
Crooked Crown Music (BMI) / Will Kimbrough Music, BMI, admin by Bluewater Music
Track Name: THE ONE WHO READ THE STARS
THE ONE WHO READ THE STARS

Sherri Beck / Maia Sharp

The perspective shift, the tide, the drift
Won’t take one day for granted
If you’ve ever heard that single word
You know it leaves you feeling stranded
Paralyzed with fear, how did I get here
I just don’t understand it

And now the one who read the stars
The young quartermaster
Is steering us to the other side of this disaster
The joy the tears, the uncharted waters we’re in
But oh, for me there’s nobody better than him
To be at the helm again

30 years gone by since he looked to the sky
And all the constellations
Aw but North is true, he’s no stranger to
A change in destinations
He’s a strong course of trust and love
And endless dedication
All the way to the shores of celebration

The one who read the stars
The young quartermaster
Is steering us to the other side of this disaster
The joy the tears, the uncharted waters we’re in
But oh, for me there’s nobody better than him
To be at the helm again

I’m letting go, letting others do what I’ve always done
Giving up the controls and taking my walk in the sun

While the one who read the stars
The young quartermaster
Is steering us to the other side of this disaster
The joy the tears, the uncharted waters we’re in
But oh, for me there’s nobody better than him
To be at the helm again

© 2019 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
Crooked Crown (BMI)
Track Name: TWO TREES
TWO TREES

Duke and Daphne Vega / Will Kimbrough

My true love was sent away
And the phone rang yesterday
Helpless when I got the call
He might not come back at all

I fell down and when I woke
It was like some wicked joke
Shook so hard and to my shame
Couldn’t even write my name

Two trees growing intertwined
Beautiful and tall combined
Strong enough for what will come
Two trees standing strong as one

I had one boy sick in need
And one man at Walter Reed
Burned my tires up on the road
It’s what you call survival mode

Hardest place I’ve ever been
Learned to walk and talk again
Once more I became a man
And went back to Afghanistan

Two trees growing intertwined
Beautiful and tall combined
Strong enough for what will come
Two trees standing strong as one

I was terrified and alone
Right back in the danger zone
Six month long panic attack
Then I got my baby back

Bureaucracy and paper trails
I got my pink slip in the mail
But I keep on keeping on
Let bygones be good and gone

Two trees growing intertwined
Beautiful and tall combined
Strong enough for what will come
Two trees standing strong as one

© 2019 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) Will Kimbrough Music, BMI, admin by Bluewater Music
Track Name: WANDERING CHILDREN
WANDERING CHILDREN

Jim and Robyn Barklow / Darden Smith

Everybody needs someone to love them
Everybody needs someone to care
In this darkened world of desolation
We all need to know someone is there

Oh, we are wandering children
Through this world we wander alone
It’s faith that gives us direction
It’s faith that brings the wandering children home

I’m ashamed of all the anger that I carried
The madness that followed me for years
Until the day I let go of the hatred
And the peace came down and wiped away my tears

Now I know that I am worth the loving
And I see the light that shines inside of me
I want to shine my light into the darkness
And give someone who’s lost a chance to see


© 2019 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)

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