SW​:​S Retreat - October 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. Bob Dallas, Katrina Dinan, Marty Dinan, Lisa Geartz, Steve Morales, Todd Rosenfield, Amy Tomisman, Evelyn Valentino, Curt Vincent, Maria Vincent, Gary Washock, and Susie Washock participated in the October 2016 retreat. These songs are their stories.

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released November 29, 2016

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SongwritingWith:Soldiers Austin, Texas

Founded by Austin, Texas singer-songwriter Darden Smith, SongwritingWith:Soldiers is a non-profit 501c (3) organization. Our mission is to assist in the emotional healing process of both active duty U.S. soldiers and veterans through collaborative songwriting. ... more

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Track Name: This Time I'm Not Alone
THIS TIME I’M NOT ALONE
Jay Clementi / James House / Bob Dallas / Marty Dinan / Josh Geartz / Andres Jimenez / Steve Morales / Todd Rosenfield / Rob Spohr / Roger Strade / Amy Lynn Tomisman / Curt Vincent / Gary Washock

All that chaos all that hurting
Eyes wide shut and moving on
All that worry all that searching
I’m tired of these demons I’m ready for a sling and the stone

This time I’ve got hope
And friends to get me home
Got the keys to cope
Ammunition for my soul
Headed down that road
With everything I know
Here I go again
This time I’m not alone

If you see me please don’t judge me
Unless you’ve marched in my boots
I’ve seen black sunsets, I’ve smelled fear and
If you took the time you’d see the proof

This time I’ve got hope
And friends to get me home
Got the keys to cope
Ammunition for my soul
Headed down that road
With everything I know
Here I go again
This time I’m not alone

Don’t think that I don’t care
Standing there with that 1000-yard stare
Been down that highway of tears
Somehow I found my way here

This time I’ve got hope
And friends to get me home
Got the keys to cope
Ammunition for my soul
Headed down that road
With everything I know
Here I go again
This time not alone

© 2016 Go With A River Publishing (BMI) / Sony-ATV Cross Keys / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Far Away
FAR AWAY
Bob Dallas / James House

When I wake up and start my day
Read the paper see what it has to say
Don’t take long before I hear your name
Don’t know why or who's to blame

When the rain comes and it’s hot
And your memory is all I’ve got
I should know you’re here to stay
And you’re never very far away

When it’s dark and the silence is all around me
You’re the only one I hear
I can lock away the loss and the heartache
But I can’t escape the fear

I had to learn that change comes slowly
Time will tell and memories fade
But some nights I’m still lonely
And you’re never very far way

When it’s dark and the silence is all around me
You’re the only one I hear
I can lock away the heartache
But I can’t escape the fear

I had to learn that change comes slowly
Time will tell and memories fade
But some nights I’m still lonely
And you’re never very far way

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Go With A River Publishing (BMI)
Track Name: Army Of One
ARMY OF ONE
Lisa Geartz / Terry Radigan

Momma was an 18-year-old runaway
Daddy was trucking down the A1A
With a beer in his hand driving with his knees
Saw her long black hair
Blowing in the breeze
Blowing in the breeze

It was a one-day stand written in the stars
Two sweaty kids in the back of that car
Accidentally stumbling on destiny
Cause I - yes I -
I was meant to be
I was meant to be

And from that day on I was on my own
Daddy built houses but we never had a home
Every day was living in a little war zone
I was fighting those battles all alone
Nowhere to go nowhere to run
So I became an army of one
I became an army of one

I learned to tie my shoes - dry my tears
Make my supper - disappear
Cut my hair - clean my clothes
Get myself off to school
Hoping nobody would know
Hoping nobody would know

That I was signing momma’s name to permission slips
Cause it was hard to catch her in between sips
Daddy’s always working he never had time
He was too busy with those little white lines
With those little white lines

And from day one I was on my own
Daddy built houses but we never had a home
Every day was living in a little war zone
I was fighting those battles all alone
Nowhere to go nowhere to run
So I became an army of one
I became an army of one

I was looking for the family I never had
Uncle Sam seemed like he’d be a pretty good dad
Tell me where to go tell me what to do
And for the first time in my life I’d have a curfew

Brothers and sisters who had my back
The first time I knew peace was in Iraq
And I met someone who felt like home
Who fought my battles
Like they were his own
Like they were his own

I didn’t have to go I didn’t have to run
I didn’t have to be an army of one
I didn’t have to be an army of one
I didn’t have to be an army of one

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Catherine the Great Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: All I Leave Behind
ALL I LEAVE BEHIND
Marty Dinan / Darden Smith

I’ve got pocketfuls of medals
Buckets full of pride
Bosnia to Baghdad, Tikrit to Kandahar
I did that ride
I was always looking out
For my brothers to the right and the left
I forgot to take care of the ones I care about the most
Whose love I carry in my chest

All I leave
All I leave behind
All I didn’t take care of back home
Weighs upon my mind
My wife and my children
Stand the test of time
How will ever I make up
For lost time
How will I ever get back
All I leave behind

So boys, I’m sorry
I put you second in line
I came home angry, confused
And took it out on you most the time
I’m sorry for all the birthdays and holidays
Everything I missed
I’m sorry for all the late nights I didn’t give
That goodnight kiss

All I leave
All I leave behind
All I didn’t take care of back home
Weighs upon my mind
You’re still my children
Till the end of time
How ‘bout we try to make up
For lost time
Even though we will never get back
All we leave behind

My love please forgive me for all the years
You kept the home fires burning when I wasn’t there to dry your tears
A thousand tomorrows all in a line
You will never be the one I leave behind

All I leave
All I leave behind
All I didn’t take care of back home
Weighs upon my mind
All that I fight for
At the risk of dying
I just want to make up
For lost time
Even though I will never get back
All I leave behind

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Sonshine
SONSHINE
Amy Lynn Tomisman / Jay Clementi

I raised you right I raised you strong
Did the best I could all along
Just thinking back to those campfire days
Those Christmas mornings and baseball games
Warms my soul
I just want you to know

My love my love is everlasting for you
There’s nothing you could ever do
To make me feel any other way
Sonshine of mine
Sonshine of mine

From my past I was broken
I hid all it cause I was hoping
You’d never feel a sliver of my pain
No one deserves to feel that way
I hope you understand
Can you take me as I am

My love my love is everlasting for you
There’s nothing you could ever do
To make me feel any other way
Sonshine of mine
Sonshine of mine

Now you know the truth - You know what I went through
Some dark dark times
But you were always my sweet Sonshine

My love my love is everlasting for you
There’s nothing you could ever do
To make me feel any other way
Sonshine of mine
Sonshine of mine

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Sony-ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP)
Track Name: Takes Me Home
TAKES ME HOME
Steve Morales / Terry Radigan

The roar of the crowd
The crack of the bat
The pop of the glove
My Dodgers hat
It takes me back it takes me home
Far from the war zone

One big strum
A fat G chord
I sing it out
I praise the lord
It takes me back it takes me home
Far from the war zone

My mind my body or sometimes both
Are back on mama’s couch
Watching her favorite shows
Little dreams of home
Get me through the tough days
Cause I’m a long way from Cal-I-For-Ni-A
I’m a long way from Cal-I-For-Ni-A

The sound of her voice
The curl of her hair
Her corny little jokes
Her “don’t you dare” stare
They take me back they take me home
Far from the war zone

My mind my body or sometimes both
Are lying in the arms of the girl I love most
Little dreams of home
Get me through the tough days
Cause I’m a long way from Cal-I-For-Ni-A
I’m a long way from Cal-I-For-Ni-A

A mansion on the coast
M on my arm
My little Stevearino
He’s my good luck charm
One day that’s gonna be my home
Far from the war zone

My mind my body or sometimes both
Are far from this desert out searching for hope
These little dreams
Get me through the tough days
Cause I’m a long way from Cal-I-For-Ni-A
I’m a long way from Cal-I-For-Ni-A

The roar of the crowd
The crack of the bat
The pop of the glove
My Dodgers hat

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Catherine The Great Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Nobody To Greet You
NOBODY TO GREET YOU
Gary Washock / Jay Clementi

600 miles away deployed in a gulf port town
She didn’t want to be a part-time single mom no way no how
But it was my duty to do my job and I loved it too
I lied when I said baby, I do it for the kids and I do it for you
And there’s no one but me to cuss
When the families are pulling up

And there’s nobody to greet you at the plane
Nobody to greet you at the plane
That kinda lonely hurts so bad
You’re the last one left on the damn tarmac
Nobody to greet you at the plane

Was everything you missed in vein
All those candle birthday wishes
A thousand goodnight daddy kisses
It drives you insane - when there’s nobody
To greet you at the plane

Sometimes mistakes have a silver-lining blessing
I got a second chance to be a family man, i learned my lesson
I’m just thankful she didn’t know that old Seabee
She deserves so much more she deserves the new me
I’m so proud of the life we’ve made
And I’ll never go back to those days

When there’s nobody to greet you at the plane
Nobody to greet you at the plane
That kinda lonely hurts so bad
You’re the last one left on the damn tarmac
Nobody to greet you at the plane

Was everything you missed in vein
All those candle birthday wishes
A thousand goodnight daddy kisses
It drives you insane - when there’s nobody
To greet you at the plane

When there’s nobody to greet you at the plane
Nobody to greet you at the plane
That kinda lonely hurts so bad
You’re the last one left on the damn tarmac
Nobody to greet you at the plane

It will make you cry it will make you change
Now I’m there for those birthday wishes
And a thousand goodnight daddy kisses
It drives you insane - when there’s nobody
To greet you at the plane

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Sony-ATV Cross Keys (ASCAP)
Track Name: Soul Of A Soldier
SOUL OF A SOLDIER
Todd Rosenfield / Darden Smith

Soul of a soldier
Soul of a soldier

Susie Qs and Ambien
Either I’m a zombie or I’m a wreck
Between 1:15 and a quarter to 2:00
Brother it’s all hands on deck
Crackle on the phone line
Give my buddies a call
To see who’s doing good, who’s barely holding on
And who just hit a wall

Soul of a soldier
Soul of a soldier
It never goes away
The feeling never fades
So many faces in damned places
It takes a heavy toll
On the soul of a soldier

Family and friends whisper
How I’ve changed
Why am I so different
Why so strange

Suddenly it’s morning, Tuesday
The sun is in the sky
Every day’s like Halloween
I’m all dressed up as a regular guy
We held each other’s lives
In each other’s hands
Till someone has your back like that
How could you understand

Soul of a soldier
Soul of a soldier
It never goes away
The feeling never fades
So many faces in damned places
It takes a heavy toll
On the soul of a soldier

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Survivor's Guilt
SURVIVOR’S GUILT
Curt Vincent / James House

Joined the army at seventeen
Didn’t know nothing if you know what I mean
Followed their orders did what I was told
Never thought I’d live to see thirty years old

If they needed somebody I’d raise my hand
But I was too young for Vietnam
Being a soldier in a time of peace
Gets a little tough for your conscious to ease

I was ready and willing to go
I even filled out my will
Here I am, I’m back home
Living with survivor’s guilt

Well you fight as you train
And you train as you fight
I didn’t run I didn’t hide
Some say I’m lucky I don’t think I am
Somehow it made feel less of a man

I was ready and willing to go
I even filled out my will
Here I am, I’m back home
Living with survivor’s guilt

I know it ain’t my fault
Still it sticks in my craw
I did what I was told to do
Just the luck of the draw

At the VFW on a bar stool
I hear their stories and I feel like a fool
I hope this time they don’t call on me
When they do I just have to leave

I was ready and willing to go
I even filled out my will
Here I am, I’m back home
Survivor’s guilt
Survivor’s guilt

© 2016 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Go With A River Publishing (BMI)
Track Name: Waiting
WAITING
Darden Smith / Terry Radigan / Katrina Dinan / Lisa Geartz / Cathy Jimenez / Daniela Pina / Krista Spohr / Kelly Barone Strade / Evelyn Valentino / Maria Vincent / Susie Washock

Waiting for the phone to ring
For a letter from the field
For him to fall asleep and stay asleep
Waiting the wounds to heal
Waiting for him not to swerve around a pothole
Or jump at the 4th of July
Waiting for him not to have his back to the wall
And the terror in his eyes

We are waiting, waiting, waiting
We are waiting, waiting, waiting

Waiting to be a family
9 to 5 holidays and weekends
Waiting for him to just open up
And be my best friend
Waiting to stop walking on eggshells
And finally be set free
Waiting for it to be my turn
Let it be just about me

We are waiting, waiting, waiting
We are waiting, waiting, waiting

We are waiting, waiting, waiting
We are waiting, waiting, waiting

I waited to feel his touch at night
Laying there all alone
Some days I’m still waiting
For him to come back home

I’m watching the days get shorter
And the leaves are falling down
If we can make through the winter
The spring will come around
Let’s all go and look at we’re creating
We’re worth the…

We are waiting, waiting, waiting
We are waiting, waiting, waiting

Worth the waiting
Worth the waiting

© 2016 Darden Smith Music / Catherine The Great Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Baby Get Out
BABY GET OUT
Jay Clementi / Group

Baby get out, get out
You know I don’t mean it
Baby get out, get out
Sometimes I just need my freedom
Just a minute to catch my breath
Shake off those demons
So we can keep dreaming
Baby get out, get out

I love me some you
But I need me some me
Just a little time
Just got to let me be

Baby get out, get out
You know I don’t mean it
Baby get out, get out
Sometimes I just need my freedom
Just a minute to catch my breath
Shake off those demons
So we can keep dreaming
Baby get out, get out

Did you hear what I said
Baby get out, get out
You know I don’t mean it
Baby get out, get out
Sometimes I just need my freedom
Just a minute to catch my breath
Shake off those demons
So we can keep dreaming

Baby get out, get out
Baby get out, get out

© 2016 Sony-ATV Cross Keys / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)