SW​:​S Retreat October 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 participated in the October 2018 retreat: Gregg Drozda, Michelle Glanville, Fabian Henry, Benjamin Kroger, Donald Navor, Tom Rankin, Jeramey Reamer, Allison Sage. Along with family members: Kathleen Cattrall, Juliane Nowe, Matt Kroger
    These songs are their stories from this retreat.
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released November 11, 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: Where You From
WHERE YOU FROM

Tom Rankin / Don Navor / Fabian Henry / Jeramey Reamer / Michelle Glanville / Gregg Drozda / Allison Sage / Michael Bradford / Darden Smith

Walking on water, you’re feeling so free
Where you are ain’t where you used to be
Where you from
I want to know where you’re from

Well you’re not where you’re going
And the best is yet to come
And the only way to get there is to know where you’re from
Where you’re from

Hard working people keep it inside
Let’s take some chances
Better learn how to cry
Where you from
I want to know where you're from

Tossed in the river, baptized in pain
But she was born as a sweet drop of rain
Where you from
Sister tell me where you’re from

Well you’re not where you’re going
And the best is yet to come
But the only way to get there is to know where you’re from
Where you from

Well the past is the past is the past
The future’s coming up fast
You’re gonna get there somehow
But what matters is the here and now
Where you from

Sleepless nights, had a fight
Long-distance calls turning wrong into right
Where you from
Brother, sister where you from

Headed to heaven, going through hell
No destination, but I’m wishing you well
Where you from
Gotta know where you’re from

Well you’re not where you’re going
And the best is yet to come
But the only way to get there is to know where you’re from
Where you from

Well the past is the past is the past
The future’s coming up fast
You’re gonna get there somehow
But what matters is the here and now
Where you from
Where you from
Where you from
Where you from
Where you from
Gotta know where you’re from

Won’t ya tell me where you’re from
Ohh brother tell me where you’re from


© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Chunky Style Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: San Antone
SAN ANTONE

Gregg Drozda / Will Kimbrough

You know they serve with honor
And you know they serve with pride
But you’ll never know the demons
Some keep bottled up deep inside

On a red eye bound for Denver, up from San Antone
The flight wasn’t full, I figured I might get to sit alone
When a soldier in desert camouflage came walking through the aisle
I caught her eye, gave her a nod, greeted her with a smile

I see by your insignia you’re with the 1st Cavalry
Thank you for your service, I’d be honored if you’d join me
Well she obliged, sat herself down and we began to talk
Found out she was a medic, Afghanistan and Iraq

I learned she was Native American, Pima from Arizona
She was on emergency leave, I asked her where she was going
She was on her way to Tacoma to deliver the eulogy
At the funeral of her closest friend who died so tragically

Her best friend was a Navajo, a combat medic too
And she told me about their service, some of what they’d been through
Tears welled up in her eyes as she fought to hold her emotions back
As I learned about their tours, Afghanistan and Iraq

With Christmas just mere weeks away, this loss takes a heavy toll
There’s a daddy and two little ones she’ll try to console
The soldier, the friend, the mom they knew, her husband’s loving wife
What demons deep inside her made her take her own life?

When you see them as you’re traveling, please tell them that you care
Thank them for their service, maybe offer them a prayer
If you know someone who’s haunted by demons from their war
Please help them get the help they need
So they won’t have to hurt no more

You know they serve with honor
And you know they serve with pride
But you’ll never know the demons
Some keep locked up deep inside

Yeah ya never know the demons
Some keep locked up deep inside

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Will Kimbrough Music (BMI)
Track Name: The Calling
THE CALLING

Fabian Henry / Darden Smith

Son of a miner, but they closed the mine
Four generations but they broke the line
I joined the army get a job, get out of town
Learned to run and shoot and dive, I never felt so alive
Give it all for my brothers to the left to the right
Just like my father those years underground
I could hear him saying son come home
You don’t have to be alone

In the calling in the darkness
Find a better way
Can you hear it, do not fear it
The calling

Easter Sunday it all went to hell
Two men died that day and I’m here to tell
It was partly my fault, the guilt took my spirit, took my soul
I hit rock bottom thought I’d lost it all
But in that moment, staring at the wall
The shame, the anger, the drugs I just let it all go
Santa Maria calling me home
I knew I was not alone anymore

She was calling in the darkness
To show me a better way
I could hear it, I did not fear it
The calling

So, when I’m triggered and I’m out of my mind
Needing space, needing time
Know that I’m just trying to rise above
The pain that lingers still
Cause I’m scared that it always will be here
So, hold me, fold me in your love
Know your voice guides me home
Telling me I’m not alone

I can hear you calling in the darkness
I can see a better way
I can hear it, I do not fear it
When you’re calling in the darkness
I see a better way
I can hear it, I do not fear it
The calling
It’s the calling
Oh I hear ya calling, calling, calling

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Feel Again
FEEL AGAIN

Allison Sage / Darden Smith

I want to feel again
Be real again
I had it and I lost it somewhere along the road
Let my spirit fly
Open my heart wide
Shine like the diamond down the core of my soul
When will I feel again

Afghanistan
Beautiful land
Mountains and the valleys, stars in the sky
Felt so good
The brotherhood
Danger so close you could see it with the naked eye
Came home just to see it vanish in the wind
All I’d ever wanted was a family and a friend

I want to feel again
Be real again
I had it and I lost it somewhere along the road
Let my spirit fly
Open my heart wide
Shine like a diamond down the core of my soul
When will I feel again
When will I feel again

I don’t trust no one
After what was done
Just when I was thinking that I’d found my way
The tears I cry
No matter how I try
Take me right back to being betrayed
I’m tired of the voices in my ear
I just want to dream without falling from the fear

I want to feel again
Be real again
I know I’m gonna find it somewhere along the road
Where my spirit flies
My heart opens wide
And I shine like a diamond that’s always been deep my soul
When I feel again
When I feel again
When I feel again


© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: Broken Open
BROKEN OPEN

Ben Kroger / Bonnie Bishop

I didn’t do my time
In Afghanistan
So I believe the lie
I was less a man
Oh and I’ve lived my life
Trapped inside my head
I made the sacrifice
Now I’m the walking dead

Oooooh ooooh ooooh broken open
Oooooh ooooh ooooh let the hope in
Oooooh ooooh broken open

Sometimes the truth
Hits you like a truck
It took cheating death
Just to wake me up
Now I’m a warrior
Gimme a real fight
Take me to the dark
Let me shine a holy light

Oooooh ooooh ooooh broken open
Oooooh ooooh ooooh let the hope in
Oooooh ooooh broken open

Oh that’s a war so be sure that there’s more
Than a rifle in your hand
I believe I was freed so I can see
What it means to be a man

Oooooh ooooh ooooh broken open
Oooooh ooooh ooooh let the hope in
Oooooh ooooh baby I’m broken

Oooooh ooooh ooooh broken open
Oooooh ooooh ooooh broken open
Oooooh ooooh ooooh let the hope in
Oooooh ooooh
Oh baby I’m broken, broken open
Broken open

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Plan BB Music (BMI)
Track Name: I Can’t Save You Now
I CAN’T SAVE YOU NOW

Kathleen Cattrall and Bonnie Bishop

It’s something we don’t talk about much
The fear of not knowing when we’ll all be turned to dust
I was there the day that those planes fell out of the sky
You were miles away hanging on the line

You were the one who’d been to war
I’d never lived through anything like that before
Seeing all those people running burning in the streets
Now I know what fear really means

You said, Babe I can’t save you now
I can only tell you how
Keep your boots on the ground
Just keep moving south
You’re gonna make it out somehow
But I can’t save you now

You’ll never know how much that you can take
Till one day the world decided to test my strength
All along I had all the courage that I need
Your words cut through the chaos around me

You said, Babe I can’t save you now
Oh I can only tell you how
Keep your boots on the ground
Just keep moving south
You’re gonna make it out somehow
Oh but I can’t save you now

But in the end we all die alone
But the reason I’m alive is your voice on the phone

You said babe I can’t save you now
Oh I can only tell you how
Just keep your boots on the ground
Just keep moving south
You’re going to make it out somehow
But I can’t save you now

Nooooo gotta save yourself tonight

It is something we don’t talk about much

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Plan BB Music (BMI)
Track Name: All Five Reasons
ALL FIVE REASONS

Michelle Glanville / Bonnie Bishop

There’s five good reasons that I’m still alive
One’s sixteen and he’s just learning how to drive
The day he was born it was raining outside
My handsome boy pushed the sun through the sky

Hush little baby and don’t you cry
Mama’s still here she just wishes she could fly
Cause Jesus was waiting on the other side of light
He’s holding my hand but it’s not my time

My oldest was born when I turned twenty-five
It was hard to believe in the beauty of life
Cause war leaves you demons that never go away
She gave me hope and a reason to stay

Hush little baby and don’t you cry
Mama’s still here she just wishes she could fly
Jesus was waiting on the other side of light
He’s holding my hand but it’s not my time

My second to oldest has learned how to stray
He won’t choose war, he won’t turn out this way
He still stops by I see that beautiful smile
Someday I hope he’ll stay for a while

Hush little baby and don’t you cry
Mama’s still here she just wishes she could fly
Jesus is waiting on the other side of light
He’s holding my hand but it’s not my time

It’s been two years ago was the last time I tried
My son walked in on me and begged me not to die
He was the one who was always full of joy
Now I carry the shame of what I stole from that boy

Hush little baby and don’t you cry
Mama’s still here she just wishes she could fly
Jesus was waiting on the other side of light
He’s holding my hand but it’s not my time

One last good reason my sweet baby girl
She summers breeze in my dark crazy world
All five angels keep my boots on the ground
They’re God’s plan for keeping me around

Hush little baby and don’t you cry
Mama’s still here she just thought she could fly
Jesus is waiting on the other side of light
He’s holding my hand but it’s not my time
He’s holding my hand but it’s not my time

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Plan BB Music (BMI)
Track Name: Is It Mine
IS IT MINE

Jeramey Reamer / Michael Bradford

Lightning flash across the sky
Terrifies the child inside
Something happens in the mind
And everything has changed
Lightning helping us to see
The cracks and the infirmities
And all the things that we believe
Will never be the same

The lesson that I’m told
The baggage that I hold

Is it mine
Or am I just reciting lines
An author who is unidentified
Pre-ordained
Or something that might fade away
Is it what we’re sold or what we find
Is it mine

Following a crowd
That only makes their voices loud
The fall that waits before the proud
The blind don’t know they're blind

Have we truly seen
The golden age of destiny
Or is it only alchemy
Forever in our mind

Before it’s laid to rest
Does it stand the test

Is it mine
Or am I just reciting lines
An author who is unidentified
Pre-ordained
Or something that might fade away
Is it what we’re sold or what we find
Is it mine

Before it’s laid to rest
Does it stand the test

Is it mine
Or am I just reciting lines
An author who is unidentified
Pre-ordained
Or something that might fade away
Is it what we’re sold or what we find

Is it mine
Or am I just reciting lines
Is it what we’re sold or what we find
Is it mine

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Chunky Style Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: El Camino
EL CAMINO

Don Navor / Michael Bradford

I am my father’s son
I’m not the only one
There’s a million more like me
We do what we have to do
With no one asking you
We take responsibility

But the world has other plans
And fate steps in to tie our hands
The picture that we painted
Blows away like grains of sand

100 miles down the El Camino
Sure didn’t look like rain
I heard the voice of the campesino
I still can’t explain
I was trapped inside a dream
High above the fields of green
But it’s all a game
I gotta crash this plane
In the field of reality
So I’ll be free

Every night I go
To the same old movie show
I get the same seat every time
The show I want to see
Is not what’s on the screen
It’s the nightmare of a life

The projector’s locked away
The program’s got to change today
I’m gonna burn this theatre down
There’s no future in this town

100 miles down the El Camino...
Sure didn’t look like rain
I heard the voice of the campesino
I still can’t explain
I was trapped inside a dream
High above the fields of green
But it’s all a game
I gotta crash this plane
In the field of reality
So I’ll be free

Who’s to know what might have been
While carrying the whole world’s sin
The man inside the glass
Is the one you cheat at last

And I’m 100 miles down the El Camino Sure didn’t look like rain
I heard the voice of the campesino
I still can’t explain
I was trapped inside a dream
High above the fields of green
But it’s all a game
I gotta crash this plane
In the field of reality
So I’ll be free

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Chunky Style Music (ASCAP)
Track Name: I Am My Brother’s Keeper
I AM MY BROTHER’S KEEPER

Ben Kroger / Matt Kroger / Will Kimbrough

Born in the valley of the shadow
All my life I was running from ghosts
So wearied by the sins of the father
So weary from running alone
yeah

I met another man on the journey
A warrior on a mission like mine
I was played out like him
Our boots were worn thin
But together we found new fire

I pray you’ll find the wisdom to know what to leave behind
I’ll be strength for now to carry the weight that you can’t put down
I am my brother’s keeper

So now we can laugh at the darkness
At last we are warriors of light
The sins are replaced by the gifts of the father
We’re looking for souls to untie

I pray we’ll find the wisdom to know what to leave behind
I’ll be strength for now to carry the weight that you can’t put down
I am my brother’s keeper

I pray we’ll find the wisdom to know what to leave behind
You’ll be strength for me now
To carry the weight that I can’t put down

I pray we’ll find the wisdom to know what to leave behind
You’ll be strength for me now
To carry the weight that I can’t put down
I am my brother’s keeper
I am my brother’s keeper
I am my brother’s keeper
I am my brother’s keeper


© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Will Kimbrough Music (BMI)
Track Name: Big Ole Willow Tree
BIG OLE WILLOW TREE

Tom Rankin / Will Kimbrough

How long, how long, how long I realize
How long it’s gonna take for me to know
What I done is gone
That’s pain and sorrow’s song
How long before I find a place to be

I done the best I could
Done all that I should
But the man he come and took some parts away
I used to be so whole
Been robbed some of my soul
Harder now for me to fun and play

Oh Lord these reflections
Why you do these things
Something weren’t in balance
Losing of my friends
My brothers they be gone now
To where believe I see
Right where they belong
That big ole willow tree

That big ole willow tree
That big ole willow tree
Take me to that special place
Don’t cry too much for me
Gather up my bones
Finally let me free
Take me to that special place
That big ole willow tree

I’ve knuckled down but buckled
This load has been mine
Got turned around and lost
In an empty space of time
I’ve walked upon the water
Or where it used to be
I found what I was looking for
That big ole willow tree

That big ole willow tree
That big ole willow tree
Take me to that special place
Don’t cry too much for me
Gather up my bones
Finally let me free
Take me to that special place
That big ole willow tree
Take me to that special place
That big ole willow tree

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Will Kimbrough Music (BMI)
Track Name: I Got An Idea
I GOT AN IDEA

Kathleen Cattrall / Gregg Drozda / Michelle Glanville / Fabian Henry / Benjamin Kroger / Donald Navor / Tom Rankin / Jeramey Reamer / Allison Sage / Darden Smith

I got an Idea
I got something to say
I got an Idea and I want to say it in a brand new way
Hey hey, hey hey

There’s a kid on a tire swing
Happy and innocent and free
Not so many expectations
it’s just beautiful to be

I got an Idea
I got something to say
I got an Idea and I want to say it in a brand new way
Hey hey, hey hey
Hey hey hey hey

I got this movie in my head
It dark and it makes me sad
Then it comes on like a monsoon and just like that it’s making me laugh

I got an Idea
I got something to say
I got an Idea and I want to say it in a brand new way
Hey hey, hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey

Then I’m riding away
It hurts sometimes and then
I get lost in the melody
And I can feel again

Cause I got an Idea
I got something to say
I got an Idea and I want to say it in a brand new way
Yeah I got an Idea
I got something to say
I got an Idea and I want to say it in a brand new way
Hey hey,hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey
Hey hey hey hey

Hey hey hey hey

© 2018 SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP) / Darden Smith Music (ASCAP)

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