SW​:​S Retreat - November 2016

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. Dusty Baxley, Eric Chiazza, Dan Kosic, Shanna Nelson, James Ritchie, Luis Rivera, Gina Serra, Sam Stitt, and Jennifer Stitt participated in the November 2016 retreat. These songs are their stories.
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released January 31, 2017

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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: Life Outside the Wire
LIFE OUTSIDE THE WIRE
Sam Stitt / Jennifer Stitt / Jay Clementi

Three gun trucks rolling down the dusty pot-hole road
It’s quiet and he knows hell’s gonna break loose in the hot zone
Completely on their own a twelve man fire team
Cut off from support surrounded by an enemy they can’t see

Alone in the dark taking fire
That’s life outside the wire

Gotta be strong, you gotta keep moving on
Living life through pictures
Getting strength through scripture
Keeping his head down doing his job
Leaning on a power that’s higher
That’s life outside the wire

She tries not to think about missing her best friend
She keeps the home fire burning not knowing when the war’s gonna end
Is my forever ever gonna make it back home
The kids are needing their daddy they can’t do this alone

She’s a faithful heart taking fire
That’s a wife outside the wire

Gotta be strong, you gotta keep moving on
Living life through pictures
Getting strength through scripture
She’s a part-time dad and a full-time mom
Leaning on a power that’s higher
That’s life outside the wire

Their prayers were answered and their journey has an end
From outside the wire they’ve safely moved back in
There’s still work to do but their hearts are still the same
There’s nothing they can’t do, there’s nothing they can’t change

Cause they’re strong, they keep moving on
Cherishing their pictures
Getting strength through scripture
Growing together through it all
Leaning on a power that’s higher
Made it through life outside the wire

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Sony-ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP)
Track Name: The Army Made Me A Man
THE ARMY MADE ME A MAN
Dan Kosic / Darden Smith

I was born in 1923
I joined up at 18
D-Day plus 3 I landed on
The beaches of Normandy
I drove trucks I drove tanks I drove anything
That had a wheel or a track
I gave 22 years of my life
And I wouldn’t take anything back, cause

The army made me a man, boys
The army made me a man
The good lord kept me safe but
The army made me a man, boys
The army made me a man

I went to Paris, I went to Berlin
I saw a bit of the world
Frankfurt, Metz, and Nancy, yeah
That’s not just the name of a girl
Korea now that was a hell of a war
You couldn’t tell bad from the good
I saw plenty I’d rather not say
But I’d do it all again if I could, cause

The army made me a man, boys
The army made me a man
The good lord kept me safe but
The army made me a man, boys
The army made me a man

I miss my brothers
Who’ve gone on before
One day I will see them again
Because once in the army
Always in the army
It’s a company of men
A company of men

The army made me a man, boys
The army made me a man
The good lord he’s looking down on me
Cause the army made me a man, boys
The army made me a man

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: I Wanna Go Back
I WANNA GO BACK
Eric Chiazza / David Forman

In the beginning we felt lost and alone
We hated every day
Hated the heat hated the smell
Hated each other hated the hell
We hated Iraq
I wanna go back

If I could be back with my brothers
In the normal life we made
Green and Reinoso
My one and my two
And by the book Padgett
Who laid down the rules
And Bryce always kicking my ass
I wanna go back

Sand in my eyes
Sand in my clothes
Sand in the places
Where nobody goes
I hated Iraq
I wanna go back

I'm fighting so hard to find my marines
In a dream that I have every day
I love my marines
And my time in the corps
But I know in my heart
I can't fight anymore
I hated Iraq
I wanna go back

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / David Foreman Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Home To Yourself
HOME TO YOURSELF
Dusty Baxley / Jay Clementi

I know you
The pacing and the drinking blurry-headed from no sleeping
I’ve been there too
That outlaw on the run lost and staring at a gun

I’m here to tell you angry man
To help you understand

There’s nothing wrong with you
It’s something you went through
It happened, it just happened

Get out of that rearview there’s a
New path in front of you
So walk it, keep walking

Only you can take it nobody else
It’s time to come home
Come home to yourself

So open your heart
Stop the judging, isolating, the endless medicating
It’s time, it’s time to start
There’s no cure to make it end the answer lies within

Don’t listen to that voice
The one saying there’s no choice

There’s nothing wrong with you
It’s something you went through
It happened, it just happened

Get out of that rearview there’s a
New path in front of you
So walk it, just keep walking

Only you can take it nobody else
It’s time to come home
Come home to yourself

I’ve got your 6 brother, I’m your tribe
Together we’ll stay alive

There’s nothing wrong with you
It’s something you went through
It happened it just happened

Get out of that rear view there’s a
New path in front of you
Walk it, just keep walking

Only you can take it nobody else
It’s time to come home
Come home to yourself
Come home to yourself

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Sony-ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP)
Track Name: Not Knowing
I WANNA GO BACK
Eric Chiazza / David Forman

In the beginning we felt lost and alone
We hated every day
Hated the heat hated the smell
Hated each other hated the hell
We hated Iraq
I wanna go back

If I could be back with my brothers
In the normal life we made
Green and Reinoso
My one and my two
And by the book Padgett
Who laid down the rules
And Bryce always kicking my ass
I wanna go back

Sand in my eyes
Sand in my clothes
Sand in the places
Where nobody goes
I hated Iraq
I wanna go back

I'm fighting so hard to find my marines
In a dream that I have every day
I love my marines
And my time in the corps
But I know in my heart
I can't fight anymore
I hated Iraq
I wanna go back

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / David Foreman Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: A Year And A Day
A YEAR AND A DAY
James Ritchie / David Forman / Ashley Cleveland

In the morning when I wake up
I can see the rising light
But I step into the darkness
In the cold and windy night

I am looking for repentance
When I hear the pine trees say
We have handed down your sentence
Of a year and a day
A year and a day

A year and a day
A year and a day
Say goodbye
You're going away

I went down to the livery
With my papers in my hand
He said son what can you give me
I said everything I am

There is nothing I would hold back
I am not long for this world
Cause the only love that's left to me
Is for my baby girl

He said I took your newborn baby
And I sold her soul away
And I pledged her to the ferryman
For a year and a day
A year and a day

For a year and a day
A year and a day
Say goodbye
She's going away

I came to the lake of fire
I was ready for to die
When like an angel choir
I could hear my baby cry

In my moment of redemption
There was light and I could see
I had come to save my daughter
But she wound up saving me

A year and a day
A year and a day
So it goes
And so I pray

A year and a day
A day and a year
Is all it took
To bring us here

© 2016 David Forman Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Sole Sister Music (BMI)
Track Name: Hot Rods And Moonshine
HOT RODS AND MOONSHINE
James Ritchie / Luis Rivera / Sam Stitt / Jay Clementi

O dark thirty in the poppy field
Dogs barking shit’s about to get real
Missing home when the moon comes up
No honey, it wasn’t just

The hot rods and the moonshine baby
Rebelling in the moonlight lady
No it wasn’t just the new tats and slicked back hair
Or the rumble of my Harley when I’m shifting gears

Or getting back to driving fast
Route 66 and chasing some bass
It was getting back to those sweet baby blues
Hugga hugga hugga loving on you

The rocket spun and I got blown up
I was covered in that Afghan dust
Missing home when I woke up
But honey it wasn’t just

The hot rods and the moonshine baby
Rebelling in the moonlight lady
Oh it wasn’t just the tats and slicked back hair
Or the rumble of my Harley when I’m shifting gears

Or getting back to driving fast
Route 66 and chasing some bass
It was getting back to those sweet baby blues
Hugga hugga hugga loving on you

Hot rods and moonshine baby
Rebelling in the moonlight lady
It wasn’t just the new tats and slicked back hair
Or the rumble of my Harley when I’m shifting gears

Or getting back to driving fast
Route 66 and chasing some bass
It was getting back to those sweet baby blues
Hugga hugga loving on you

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Sony-ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP)
Track Name: Bulletproof Baby
HOT RODS AND MOONSHINE
James Ritchie / Luis Rivera / Sam Stitt / Jay Clementi

O dark thirty in the poppy field
Dogs barking shit’s about to get real
Missing home when the moon comes up
No honey, it wasn’t just

The hot rods and the moonshine baby
Rebelling in the moonlight lady
No it wasn’t just the new tats and slicked back hair
Or the rumble of my Harley when I’m shifting gears

Or getting back to driving fast
Route 66 and chasing some bass
It was getting back to those sweet baby blues
Hugga hugga hugga loving on you

The rocket spun and I got blown up
I was covered in that Afghan dust
Missing home when I woke up
But honey it wasn’t just

The hot rods and the moonshine baby
Rebelling in the moonlight lady
Oh it wasn’t just the tats and slicked back hair
Or the rumble of my Harley when I’m shifting gears

Or getting back to driving fast
Route 66 and chasing some bass
It was getting back to those sweet baby blues
Hugga hugga hugga loving on you

Hot rods and moonshine baby
Rebelling in the moonlight lady
It wasn’t just the new tats and slicked back hair
Or the rumble of my Harley when I’m shifting gears

Or getting back to driving fast
Route 66 and chasing some bass
It was getting back to those sweet baby blues
Hugga hugga loving on you

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Sony-ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP)
Track Name: You Don't Stop
YOU DON’T STOP
Shanna Nelson / Luis Rivera / Ashley Cleveland

I’m so used to turning everybody away but you don’t stop, you don’t stop
I’m so used to the misery I make but you don’t stop, you don’t stop
I’m so used to hearing “You’re crazy, you’re a loser, get the hell out of here!”
But you must be crazy too cause you don’t disappear and you don’t stop

I’m so used to being hard and tough but you don’t stop, you don’t stop
I’m so used to not feeling pretty enough but you don’t stop, you don’t stop
I’m so used to smiling, hiding, having to pretend
But you tell me that I’m beautiful over and over again and you don’t stop

We are blessed through the nightmares, the bad scares
When we’re fragile, when we’re strong
We say baby come here, you are not alone
And we don’t stop, we don’t stop

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Sole Sister Music (BMI)

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