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One song soft transitions to another...

An Indie playlist, “Relaxing Sunday Mornings” streams on a Monday because, well…every morning should be relaxing. Music comes through, vibration is felt, lyrics passing by like the whoooossh of cars on a distant highway. Something about a leaf that’s fallen on a mountain stream. The second lyric is what gets me. Lullaby vibrato in his voice as he says, “I’m a child convinced he should chase after all his dreams. “Seattle Rain” by Drakeford opens with the promising whisper of a 1, 2, 3… and on 4, the rhythmic, fingerpicked strumming of a guitar.

The song speaks to the larger theme of “venture, ” defined by the husband and wife duo as being “a risky and daring undertaking.” Venture, they describe in the trailer video on their YouTube channel as being the spirit of the the leaps they’ve taken in their career, relationship, and life.

They wanted authenticity, honesty, and vulnerability to be a focal point of the album. “The unrefined essence of the very venture that we’ve been on for the past few years. “It’s lessons that we’ve learned on the road, it’s experiences we’ve had, questions and doubts we’ve had, songs about the highest points and the lowest points, we just wanted to write this album to convey these experiences we’ve had to hopefully encourage you and also challenge you to think about things your wouldn’t normally.” The spirit of venture is heard in final lyric of the first verse, before the chorus comes in:

"And I had it all planned out, but the more I learn it seems,

I'd be a foolish man to count on,

my inflated self esteem."

What I hear, or honestly how I relate what I hear to what’s currently going on in my life, is a reflection on what happens when you have a dream. When you have a dream, you’re going to understand your dream better than anyone else, especially in the beginning. It’s tough believing in yourself for everyone else. When forced to consistently describe a dream to a bunch of people who don’t get it, you can become hardened and possibly develop an “inflated self-esteem” as a defense mechanism protecting you form other people’s silent and not-so-silent criticisms. There will be a select crew of believers in your life but for the most part, there will be those who don’t see your vision. Your family and old friends will believe in the version of you that is no longer you. Because you are evolving. They will focus more on reverting you back to the way you used to be, the version of you that made sense for them, that allowed you to fit nicely into their life.

Sometimes your dream involves another person or IS another person. The layout of the chorus remains the same throughout the song save for a couple important variations.

And I don’t know what’ll happen come tomorrow,

cause all that’s ever really promised is today.

Oh no, I couldn’t tell you where I’m headed darling,

but I’m sure i’m on my way.

Your interpretation of this depends on whether or not you are a romantic. You could read this as a desperate last plee from the singer to his darling, to wait for him or 2) an admittance that he doesn’t know where he’s headed but that it could be somewhere else and that she shouldn’t wait for him or 3) The singer realizing his dream IS his darling and that he is on his way to is her.

The perspective change of the second chorus leads the romantic listener to believe love has prevailed. First time around, the singer refers to himself in the first person, being on “his” way. The second and third time it changes perspective from “his” to “we’re.” What I love about songs is that they are like a collection of little poems, and the space between them is major life events in a person’s life. You don't know what they are so you are left in the mystery, to fill in the gaps with your own hopes and dreams for what you want to happen. They are composites of real life events imbued with some elements of fantasy and mystery.

And I don’t know what’ll happen come tomorrow,

cause all that’s ever really promised is today.

Oh no, I couldn’t tell you where I’m headed darling,

but I’m sure we’re on our way.

How I interpret the narrative arc of this song is heavily biased towards my own experience. I see it as an allegory that closely parallels my own journey and reveals a meaning that is very close to the particular meaning I’m looking for right now in my life. It began as an admittance of self-doubt, the singer proclaiming “I’d be a foolish man to count on” and engaging a defense mechanism of an “inflated self esteem” that presumably turned him inward and away from embracing the support of others. Then the perspective shifts to a more inclusive one in the second chorus as the solo journey now expands to include the darling who he was previously on a separate journey from. The “I’m” is replaced by “we’re.” You might be wondering, what happened to turn the “I’” to “we?”

In the second verse, the singer meets a girl who is the “sweet Seattle rain” to his “Alabama summer.” Interesting to note is the fact he’s still battling with the self-doubt expressed earlier in the song. “And I know that we’ve both grown, but I often feel the same like the usual self critic, but with twice the self to blame.” That’s when the second chorus hits, which seems to be a reminder that he’s no longer on this journey alone.

Then in the third verse we learn a little bit more about “how a moment can chance a persons’ life and all at once your confidence is thrown under the knife.”

"Yea..our wounds may never heal,

and our weaknesses may thrive,

but the tragedies just help us see

we’re blessed to be alive."

Now the final and third chorus, which ends the song. The first and second time around we heard the singer addressing it to his “darling,” and then the third and final time around, it’s his “brother.” He mentions the darling twice and the brother last, so it’s up to the interpretation of the listener as to which person holds a heavier weight in the song-writing. The mention of “tragedies that help us see we’re blessed to be alive” colors the whole song with a sense of hopeful sadness. Again, depending on whether you are a romantic or not, and whether your focus is on the tragedy or the fact that it “helps us see we’re blessed to be alive,” it’s either an optimistic ending or a austere one.

I come back to to the not knowing what’ll happen come tomorrow, “cause all that’s ever really promised is today.” And whether my dream is a thing, a destination, or a person, like the singer, “I’m sure i’m on my way.” Maybe the song is trying to convey that we’re always on our way to a dream, even if the path isn’t clear in front of us.

There will be those moments that change everything, moments where for a brief moment, the fog lifts and we can see for miles, regaining our sense of direction. Regaining our sense of knowing we are going the right way. Then when the fog obstructs our view again, we can confidently stride in that direction, knowing what we saw was real. Knowing that next time we are feeling lost, the fog will again lift, and reveal the path to us. We will find companionship and love along the way, and we will loose our sense of self in the best of ways. Turning outward to face others who we meet along the parts of our path that merge with theirs.

Knowing we are headed in the same direction, and we can walk hand and hand, enjoying the moment and knowing that all that’s ever promised is today.