Who I Am
There are many times when people ask how a song was written. Though there isn't always a clear answer to this question, the songs in this collection all have real significance to me. I've taken a few minutes to write a little something about each one. I hope you enjoy it. Rene "Get A Life" was a fun song to write. If you have ever been in a relationship that wasn't working out, or a toxic friendship that took forever to get away from, you will appreciate the message of this song. I liken this songs message to "ripping off the bandage" quickly. If you pull it off slowly you prolong the agony, likewise, in the words of a dear friend; "You can't control the fall" of a relationship. You have to just make a clean break and cut your losses so you can both go out and "get a life". "Out of My Mind In Love": You know, there are songs that writers write, which have little or nothing to do with personal experience. We have a way of watching others and placing ourselves in their shoes. This is not one of those songs. I will just go ahead and admit that this song is about me and Mike. Generally speaking, when I write a song, it is right alongside Michael on guitar. He works on the changes, which gives me ideas for melodies, which lead to lyrics. This particular song was my baby entirely. Mike stepped in afterward and gave me help making the changes more exciting, but it was basically mine. I say this, not to take credit, but to let you know, this is my song to him. There are many reasons why others looking on may not understand or approve of a relationship. When you get the right one, you can't really afford to listen to those people. How can they know? So, this is one of those tunes that recognizes, "hey, this is unconventional, this is statistically doomed, but love is not bound by convention or rules. I'm going to choose to take a chance and love you regardless." I was so excited when I wrote this song, I called my mom and made her listen to it over the phone as I played (or pretended to play) it on guitar and sang. If you love someone, hold on! We are 16 years and counting and still completely "out of our minds" for each other. "Who I Am": This song is absolutely one of those "other people's shoes" things. Watching younger people struggle with identity and stubbornly stand their ground produced this song. It's about the realization that you have and will make poor decisions, but they are yours to make. It's about making peace with whatever circumstances you are in, and knowing yourself enough to say; "I am who I am and I can't be something else to please someone else". When Mike and I first started writing this song, it was initially kind of tongue-in-cheek. I thought there were a lot of kids out there who used individuality as an excuse for bad behavior. "I am just trying to be me"; "you're trying to control me". By the time we wrestled out the lyrics I found I was really writing from their perspective and my attitude about the message of the song had changed. Hopefully, I got it right and this song will be encouraging to people who are struggling with their own resolve to be themselves, whatever that may be. 'The Color Of Music' was one of those songs that just kind of happened all at once. Mike and I had been working with a couple of friends on a video contest. We were given the topic, "Color of Music" and told we had 5 days to write the song, record it, and produce a video. It was an invigorating experience. We got the subject on a Friday, and by Sunday we had the song written and ready to give to our colleagues. The tune and the lyrics came together almost simultaneously. It's basically a look back at the different points in your life where you identify the mood or feel of that memory with music and with color. Lyrically, I associate the things in the song with particular memories of my life. In particular, the reference to green reminds me of climbing trees in my cousin's back yard and listening to Journey on the radio. I hope this song has the same effect on those listening. It's a kind of a reminder of how intensely our past experiences effect our perception later in life. "Too Soon To Say Goodbye": I participated in the "work-study program" while in college and had just started a new position. My boss had that very week received the news that her son, husband and father of 2 very young children, had died unexpectedly in his sleep. As I watched this woman handle the most unimaginable grief with grace and resolve, it inspired me to write this song. I had, 2 years before, experienced my own loss of my dear Aunt Linda. She was only 54. I missed her terribly; it was the first close relative I ever lost. The song went unfinished for the next 6 months. I couldn't find the words. 2009 was a bad year for celebrities. We lost Farah Fawcett, Bernie Mac, and Michael Jackson. I know there were others. It's sad when you reach an age where icons fall all around you. As I watched the world and those close to these people mourn, it reignited me to finish the song that my boss had inspired. It is dedicated to Debbie, my Aunt Linda, and all of those people who mourn a life taken too soon. It hurts, and it will never go away. You just get better at living with it.