SW​:​S Retreat September Nashville, TN 2019

by SongwritingWith:Soldiers

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    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.
For so long I felt like starting over Thought I was finished but I’m not Thought I was down on rock bottom Had a revelation that I’ve just got To take a leap, leap of faith Take a leap, leap of faith Once you’ve been down on the bottom Think you’ll never get up again All you need is a little confidence All you need is friend Just take that leap of faith Just take a leap of faith I feel free I feel hope The hand of God I feel renewed Have no fear Have no weight And this freedom Is a true…. Leap, leap of faith Leap, leap of faith Just take that leap, leap of faith Take that leap, leap of faith
2.
I see people living lives I see husbands I see wives I think how do they do that What do I do wrong I toss and turn all night long Running from connection Hiding from the pain Afraid to give but more afraid to ask For the love that I am wanting That I’m so afraid to lose It’s safer just to watch my life go past Behind the mask Who to turn to, where to start Learn to open up my heart Trust it won’t be broken Surely there must be Someone who wants someone just like me Running from connection Hiding from the pain Afraid to give But more afraid to ask For the love that I am wanting That I’m so afraid to lose I don’t want to watch my life go past From behind the mask
3.
A Better Man 02:28
The better part of thirty years, a willing volunteer I was a soldier, EOD, war after war I did my job day after day I hid my pain away Saving lives is what I was fighting for I was spinning all around headed for the cold hard ground I got lost without a compass or a choice Fighting wars in my sleep consumed in my grief ‘til I leaned into the safety of your voice You’re my rock, my better half You’re the one who makes me laugh You believe in something bigger than us all You hold me up when I can’t stand When I’m lost you take my hand You make me a better man You’re the mother of my boy you’re my pride and joy My family, you’re the center of my life You turned my house into a home I’m so glad I’m not alone So grateful you’re my woman you’re my wife You’re my rock, my better half You’re the one who makes me laugh You believe in something bigger than us all You hold me up when I can’t stand When I’m lost you take my hand You make me a better man
4.
I used to cry But nobody answered My first months of life From the day of my birth I gave up the fight Of waiting and wondering Why should I try What is it worth They walked in and smiled Walked right up and chose me A beautiful child Blue eyes and blonde hair They took me home We flew over the ocean To live in their world Where somebody cared Every child needs A mother and father Every child Needs to know that they’re loved How they tried They did all that they could do But even their best wasn’t enough The years dragged on by And each time I lost someone No tears filled my eyes They were locked in my rage Still in denial of my need to need someone I tried to push through But fell over the edge I saw the light I thought it was heaven I’d opened my eyes And crashed back to earth Cause I wouldn’t stop Til I hit rock bottom Why should I try What is it worth Every child needs A mother and father Every child Needs to know that they’re loved Oh how they tried They did all that they could do But even their best wasn’t enough I used to cry But nobody answered My first months of life From the day of my birth I gave up the fight Of waiting and wondering Why should I try What is it worth Why should I try What am I worth
5.
Sometimes when It gets late I break out my superman cape It always kept me safe From facing the truth I wore it loud and proud But it became more like a shroud Another lost face in the crowd Not sure what to do They were wrong we were right Saw the world in color and it ain’t so black and white When I got time on my hands I think about my faith And try on my old Superman cape The enemy talks to you in your dreams It ain't always what it seems Talks about his family What are we doing here In a stairway in Sarajevo I found out what I now know Sometimes even God lets go And doesn’t shed a tear They were wrong we were right Saw the world in color man it ain’t so black and white When I got time on my hands I think about my faith I'll go try on my old Superman cape The world keeps on turning Kids keep on growing Sun keeps on rising And I want them knowing As the world keeps on turning They they’ll keep on learning And If I have my way They’ll never have to wear Superman’s cape
6.
In ’68 a Marine, wild eyed and green I’d never seen a human die I lost friends, I lost faith, I lost hope, and I lost grace As I watched the endless bullets fly I wrote a letter at the wall To my friends that I watched fall Said I can’t carry it no more The guilt inside of me I had to set it free Forgiveness is what I’m looking for I wrote it all in my letter at the wall I came home I couldn’t cry, I kept it all locked inside My father and his father did it too Like so many men, leaves blowing in the wind It’s the luck of the draw that pulled us through I wrote a letter at the wall To my friends that I watched fall Said I can’t carry it no more The guilt inside of me I had to set it free Forgiveness is what I’m looking for I wrote it all in my letter at the wall Prisoners of war, we are all prisoners of war We fight and we fight but what are we fighting for? Wrote what I had to say, I turned and walked away The tears came down till they couldn’t come down no more I wrote it all in my letter at the wall
7.
Unspeakable 02:50
Couldn’t quit, couldn’t leave So much pressure pressing down on me Nowhere to run, only one way out My brothers and sisters know what I’m talking about Unspeakable Seemed untreatable Is my soul redeemable Looking for freedom and peace Couldn’t breathe, out of breath Out of hope, nothing left I was blind to the light Disconnected, and out of fight Unspeakable Seemed untreatable Is my soul redeemable Looking for freedom and peace The view of hell Is in the eye of the beholder Easy to judge from far away No one to turn to Cut off from love Beyond the fear, no reason to stay Here I am Found redemption Life is just a temporary condition All is good I can see And now I’m living free Of the Unspeakable That seemed untreatable And my soul is redeemable Unspeakable That seemed untreatable And my soul is redeemable I found freedom and peace
8.
I came home a stranger in my own homeland People think I’m crazy, they don’t understand Outside I look alright, but it’s chaos inside Memories of hell and fire and pain up in my mind But there’s a band of angels watching over for me I can hear their voices sing so sweet To the song inside my heart And it keeps me safe and true It’s the anchor in my storm That’s what a song can do It’s the melody of peace After all that I’ve been through If you listen to these words Then you might find it too That’s what a song can do I put pen to paper, I write down these words I just tell the story of all I’ve seen and heard Listen to rhythm, get lost in the blues Say what’s on my heart and always tell the truth Cause there’s a band of angels watching over me When the chorus comes they sing harmony To the song inside my heart And it keeps me safe and true When everything goes dark Cause that’s what a song can do In that melody of peace I have been renewed If you listen to these words Then you might find it too That’s what a song can do
9.
I grew up on Hell Street East Dallas running wild Protector of my family I was the oldest child I’d hear my mother’s voice sometimes Ringing like a bell inside my heart Take care of you skin Don’t waste your life I just knew I couldn’t fall apart I’m a walking miracle I’ve walked through fire I’ve cheated death From the neighborhoods to the battle fields From my birth to my last breath I’ve felt the angels hovering Standing at the point of no return I can’t explain this mystery I only know with every prayer I learn By the grace of God The impossible is possible By the grace of God I can say I see the light, I see the light By the grace of God And every day I think of you I always pray that some day soon We will be together once again By the grace of God The impossible is possible By the grace of God I can say I see the light, I see the light By the grace of God By the grace of God
10.
My Own Eyes 02:26
Not going back to the shadows I wanna stay here in the light Rock bottom’s behind me Hope has taken flight I’m just getting started Just beginning to realize Standing here unguarded I can see the light Through my own eyes I feel the weight off my shoulders I don’t know where this is leading to This changes everything Taste of freedom in living true I’m just getting started I’m just beginning to realize Standing here unguarded I can see the light Through my own eyes My heart is open Wide enough to let love in The hardest part is over Getting ready to live again Getting ready to live again I’m just getting started I’m just beginning to realize Standing here unguarded I can see the light Through my own eyes

about

All purchases are tax-deductible donations to SongwritingWith:Soldiers.

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 September 2019 retreat: Robert "Buck" Rogers, Hope Ross, Ray Leija, Bill Brigman, Jeffrey Hutcherson, Emily Parma, Jim Yockey, Mark Crisci, James House, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mary Gauthier and Darden Smith.

These songs are their stories from this retreat.

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released November 10, 2019

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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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