Photo by Griffin Norman
Hey y’all. It’s definitely fall in Nashville. Yesterday, it was raining, cloudy and cold…perfect for staying in and writing a new song. I even broke out the first sweater of the season.
Today, it’s cold and sunny (at times). As I wrote in my blog on Tuesday, I’m packing and rehearsing for my Norway tour. But, I’m also getting in several writing appointments, and it’s been fun creating new music with new people.
This blog today is about Hey, I’ve Been There Too, the third track on my new album Make Everything Bright.
This is probably the most personal song on Make Everything Bright in terms of inserting real life (mine) into the music, and it has resonated with close friends who know me well and also people who have heard it live and for those who have bought and listened to the record.
The song started with the music first, which is not always the case for me. I was working with my new pro-tools recording program and came up with a drum loop and started to write the melody. Then, the words came. Eventually, I dropped the drum loop and kept the simplicity of the acoustic guitar and violin.
I struggled with writing this blog because it involved my family and personal feelings. But, after talking to my sister (who is part of the song’s story), she approved right away. She said..."Molly, your songs are a part of who you are.... you've already written the song & it's on your record for everyone to hear. Part of what you do is to share your stories." She was and continues to be very supportive.
I wrote the lyrics while I was going to my therapist two years ago. Therapy is always a great thing, whether you are going through tough times or if everything is “bright” in your life. The song hits home for me, literally. It’s about feelings I had regarding my relationship, as I grew up, with my older sister. During those particular sessions, I started to discover that I wasn’t letting my light shine, whether it was about my art and music or personally in relationships. I was always a bit shy when talking about my music career, success or the rough spots...Shy, uncomfortable, taking the back seat in regards to being who I truly am... (happy, intense, bright, & sensitive).. all of the adjectives that probably describe most of us. I think we all have several sides to ourselves... our past that is still a part of us and then the people we become as we mature and walk through our journey trying to better ourselves in this crazy world. Everyone has many angles & interesting stories. Uncovering them & watching them spawn into something new is what makes life....well... LIFE! To quote my mother many years ago, she said..."It takes a lot of livin' to learn to live." It stands to be my favorite quote to this day! Thanks mom! ;)
Growing up, I didn’t want to outshine my sister because she was the oldest. She had her shining activities and I had mine. I tended to excel in music and art…and I thought she was jealous because she tended to be mean to me at times and it really hurt my feelings. So, I pulled back and always let her shine instead of me. I never wanted her to feel bad, so I internalized it and decided it was my job to feel bad for both of us (HA!...insert humor). And, you all know how sibling dynamics are, especially with sisters. Years later, I found out that she wasn’t jealous at all, and it was about how I felt. I tucked those feelings away years ago, and they continued to affect me as I grew older. I would always try to diffuse my light. And even though I have worked through these things…it’s funny, it always lingers. I’m not the best at taking compliments, as many of you know *wink*
That’s where the line – "guilt for feeling good, time to change" comes from.
As I worked on the personal angle for the song (using a male figure in the opening line....."Hey, it's alright to shine, you won't let HIM down" hoping no one would know that it was actually a girl, my sister I was talking about because, again, I didn't want to hurt her feelings), I wanted to add different scenarios for situations for each verse where we always feel hurt & alone. Each of the verses plays out that way…and I wanted listeners to know we’ve all been there. It’s ok to feel alone & sad, we have been there, and it gets better. I wanted listeners to see themselves in the song. We’ve all felt the sting of mean words from those trying to hurt us. The song says it’s ok to hurt, but keep your head up.
Keep your light shining no matter what and keep going forward. We all have had tough times, just keep the light on!
I’ll write about "The Ocean" next week.
Peace & love,