SW​:​S Retreat September 2017

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.
    John Cameron, Howie Campbell, Pete Cleaveland , Ilana Cohen, Terrance Davidson , Barry Fetterolf, Thomas Griswold, Perry Jenkins, Gloria Manthos, Christine Rem and George Watson participated in the September 2017 retreat.
    These are songs recorded on site at retreats. They capture a song just hours after being written, like the song taking its first breath.
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1.
Gloria Manthos / Darden Smith It might not seem like much to you But I’ve got a bed and a roof over my head I’ve got my books and I’ve got this window Where I see the sky all blue and grey and red When I’m tired I sleep When I’m hungry I eat And I smoke another cigarette I’ll make a plan one day But I’m not there yet The place where I belong Might be here, but again it might be wrong I’ll stay until I’m gone To find the place where I belong The ties I thought would bring me peace Were more like daggers so I just turned away I’m so tired of all this running But now that I’m here I see that I need to stay Far from the whiskey And men and the junkies And sin and the war machine Just go somewhere I can dream The place where I belong It might be here, but again I might be wrong I’ll stay until I’m gone To find the place where I belong I want mountains and trees and the air that I breathe And to be clean and pure and cold I want to be safe and I want to be loved For the beauty in my soul In the place where I belong I’m free, I’m whole and I’m strong I stay until I’m gone In the place where I belong In the place where I belong © 2017 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
2.
John Cameron / Maia Sharp 1 o’clock in the morning Darker than the dark side of the moon I didn’t know where we were going We couldn’t get there too soon On the tip of the spear, the guardians of the night Oh but we couldn’t see it coming, a ghost round in flight Had no idea that bones exploded Or skin could act that way That a boat could take on blood like water And wash my soul away Oh hanging off my shoulder Was something I did not recognize The corpsmen stormin the ship were shielding their eyes It’s okay, it’s just my strumming hand The other one does all the work If I couldn’t play No Alibis or Ramblin Man Now that, yeah that would hurt It was a bad day but it’s okay They sewed me back together But it’ll never be the same Still, I don’t waste a moment On thinking who should take the blame I had Panama and Paris And Carolina on my side At least a dozen doctors tried, I know they tried It’s okay, it’s just my strumming hand The other one does all the work If I couldn’t play Cashmere or Preacher Man Now that, yeah that would hurt It was a bad day but it’s okay It’s just my strumming hand it’s just my strumming hand It’s okay, it’s just my strumming hand The other one does all the work If I couldn’t play Stand By Your Man Now that, yeah that would hurt It was a bad day, but it’s okay It’s just my strumming hand Yeah it’s just my strumming hand Crooked Crown Music (BMI) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
3.
Thomas Griswold / Gary Burr Something ain’t right when a kid’s 19 And he can’t sleep at night ‘cause of things He’s seen that day Something ain’t right when you wanna leave your bed And a blast of cocaine and some Walker Red’s The only way When chaos is your comfort zone When you’re in a crowd but you’re all alone And you always need an exit sign in sight Something ain’t right Something ain’t right Something ain’t right when to feel alive You need to strap on your gear and take a long fast ride Down the highway Something ain’t right when what you’ve been through Makes simple words like “I love you” So hard to say When “I’m Ok” is just a lie You’re telling friends that are stopping by And you’re slow to talk but so damn Quick to fight Well, something ain’t right Something ain’t right Please be patient with me Kindness is all I need When a boy comes home A different man It’s okay if you don’t understand Just remember when he’s pacing The floor at night Something ain’t right Something ain’t right No something ain’t right Connboy Music/SESAC / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
4.
Trust 03:12
Terrance Davidson / Darden Smith Jeremiah 29:11 Tells me that I’ll be alright Tells me that I shouldn’t worry Even in the darkest night But I’m a man who likes a plan It’s hard to just let go And put my faith in this world I can’t control And just trust you walk with me, trust Ya see I grew up in a world of trouble Where love is black and blue Somebody was always leaving I couldn’t tell what was real and true But Luke 1:37 Always gives me hope That nothing is impossible I carry those words everywhere I go And trust you walk with me I trust what I can’t see I trust when things go wrong I trust your love is strong Trust, I just trust, trust, trust I’m learning how to tear apart All the walls around my heart I’m learning how to tear apart these walls All these walls, all these walls And just trust you walk with me I trust in when I can’t see I trust when things go wrong I just trust your love is strong I trust my heart is true I trust everyday is new I trust that the sky is blue I trust in me and I trust in you I just trust, just trust That you’ll walk I just trust, trust, trust © 2017 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
5.
Unlock 02:52
6.
Christine Rem / Maia Sharp He pursued her as a hunter Predator to prey Then he finally caught up to her At a sure fire range away She was lined up, just a target Nothing he’d recognize But when she looked up directly at him He saw a child’s eyes Innocent reflection Silent sacrifice We bury our confession inside Cause no one wants to hear About the eyes of the deer When we meet nobody’s talking Till I say I’ve seen it too Then the borders, they start dissolving We can get to the getting through We can stop the isolation Of thinking anyone is the only one What we pushed down into the darkness Can finally see the sun Innocent reflection Silent sacrifice We bury our confession inside Cause no one wants to hear About the eyes of the deer About the eyes of the deer Crooked Crown Music (BMI) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
7.
Cast a Fly 02:37
George Watson / Barry Fetterolf / Gary Burr I always loved to fish Yeah, fishing soothed my soul My summers filled with rocky streams And fishing holes When my country called I left those streams behind To play in a sandbox with some friends of mine I bought a brand new rod and then I was 8 years old again At my favorite place in a whole new different time We were all proud to serve But don’t we all deserve To find our lives and set our wounds aside Me I wade in the water And cast a fly I’ve lost a lot of lines The current swept away But that keeps me in the moment And sweeps away my yesterdays I catch them and release them And thank them for their fight It helps me count my blessings When I turn out the lights So when it’s cloudy I’ll be here Where there’s no guilt and there’s no fear And I’ll think about the ones we left behind We were all proud to serve But don’t we all deserve To find our lives and set our wounds aside Me I wade in the water Yes I wade in the water Me I wade in the water And cast a fly Connboy Music/SESAC / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
8.
Dotted Line 02:44
Howie Campbell / David Forman What's a boy to do Down in Wappingers Falls What am I gonna do Who am I gonna be What's a boy to do When his Uncle Sam calls Sayin’ “I want you” Are you talking to me? So I sign on the dotted line I was out on the street Just wastin’ my time I sold my soul now my life's not mine Cuz I signed on the dotted line So I shuffle off to Buffalo I'm gonna enlist But I never realized it would come to this They stuck a needle in my arm And I turned ice cold I thought this army stuff is Getting pretty old But I signed on the dotted line I was out on the street Just wastin my time I sold my soul now my life's not mine I signed on the dotted line Yeah they got me lock stock and barrel Dress me up in green apparel I say what's this They say O.D. I say O.D. that means something else to me I thought this was gonna be fun But oh my God what have I done This is not what I signed up for What kind of soldier never been to war But I signed on the dotted line I’m back on the street and I’m feeling fine And bless my soul my life is mine Even though I signed on the dotted line I signed on the dotted line I signed on the dotted line David Forman Music (ASCAP) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
9.
Ilana Amrani-Cohen / Darden Smith Sit with me under the Pomegranate Tree I am far from my home My city of stones When I dream I’m there A little girl with flowers in her hair Sit with me under the Pomegranate Tree Sit with me under the Pomegranate Tree I see my grandmother’s eyes Taste cilantro, tumeric and rice Smell the citrus trees, feel intoxicating breeze It’s all there in my memory Sit with me under the Pomegranate Tree Sit with me under the Pomegranate Tree In my dream I am under the Pomegranate Tree Sit with me under the Pomegranate Tree Sit with me under the Pomegranate Tree Pomegranate Tree Under the Pomegranate Tree © 2017 Darden Smith Music / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
10.
That Letter 03:27
Perry Holmes Jenkins / Maia Sharp My buddy wrote a good bye letter home From the FOB McHenry danger zone It said If you’re reading this I’m not gonna make it back to you I hope you know you gave me a good life I am always grateful you’re my wife Oh I hate to make you cry That I have to say goodbye so soon I’m not saying that writing that letter was wrong Getting home is what I’m betting on I’m no stranger to putting pen to paper I can string a mile of words together I’m gonna hold on long enough to tell you later And I’m never gonna write that letter Never, ever, I’m never gonna write that letter We were born just shy of a month apart Me and this quiet guy with a humble heart Always high speed always tracking In the black of the Iraqi countryside Now I’m standing in formation in a pine box salute And sunshine never felt so cold They drape it with a flag and it’s a futile consolation That he’ll never get old, he’ll never get old I’m no stranger to putting pen to paper I can string a mile of words together I’m gonna hold on long enough to tell you later No, I’m never gonna write that letter Never, ever never gonna write that letter Call it stubborn, call it superstition Call it selfish, call it tunnel vision But I’m not gonna write that letter Never ever I’m not gonna write that letter Never I’m no stranger to putting pen to paper I can string a mile of words together But I’m gonna hold on long enough to tell you later Yeah, I’m never gonna write that letter Never, ever never gonna write that letter, Never, ever Never gonna write that letter Crooked Crown Music (BMI) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)
11.
John Cameron / Howie Campbell / Pete Cleaveland / Ilana Cohen, Terrance Davidson / Thomas Griswold / Perry Jenkins / Gloria Manthos / Christine Rem / George Watson / Darden Smith Bottle rockets in the night Bottle rockets in the night We’re like bottle rockets in the night Bottle rockets in the night The heat and fire burning desire Pressure like no one knows I scream and I explode Just like bottle rockets in the night Bottle rockets in the night Just like bottle rockets in the night Bottle rockets in the night Lot of pain a little love Little push a little shove Cold night my soul was bare On the road to nowhere Just like bottle rockets in the night Bottle rockets in the night Just like bottle rockets in the night Bottle rockets in the night Darkness in my heart Tracers in the night Light up the spark like bottle rockets in flight Bottle rockets in the night Bottle rockets in the night Just like bottle rockets in the night Bottle rockets in the night Just like bottle rockets in the night Bottle rockets in the night Just like bottle rockets in the night Bottle rockets in the night Just like bottle rockets in the night Yeah like bottle rockets in the night © 2017 Darden Smith Music (ASCAP) / SongwritingWith:Soldiers Music (ASCAP)

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released October 18, 2017

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SongwritingWith:Soldiers Nashville, Tennessee

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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