SONG STORIES - LEAN IN
We began work on this album during the pandemic. Gigs were scarce, and the state of the country and the world was in turmoil. This turned us inward and reminded us of what was truly important - our family, our friends, our faith in something greater, the simple light found in a garden patch or a song lyric. We leaned in to those things - to the love and joy and wisdom found in them - and this is what came out. We hope it brings you joy too.
Below are some reflections on the stories behind the songs (with some lyric fragments)....
Hold On – Hope is a big driver in our lives. No matter how tough things can get, there is always the choice of hope for a better day. To know that if we really listen, really look, we can find the good, hold on to it (sometimes for dear life!) and move ahead.
"...Gotta believe we can hold on a little bit longer.
Gotta believe we can move to a better day.
Gotta believe we can all be a little bit stronger.
Gotta believe - we can find a way...."
Black Creek Road – A memory piece going back to Ann's senior year in high school. Some of the names/situations have been changed to protect the innocent – lol! The field still exists – and we believe it is still a place of refuge for those young ones on the brink of what comes next.
"...Didn't think tomorrow would come.
Took to the night while we were young.
Watching and waiting for something... anything.
One More Day – Doug’s father turned 90 this past year – which brought him to a moment of reflection. How would you feel on your 90th birthday? Would you spend more of your time looking ahead or looking back? That is the question, the challenge this song poses.
"...Maybe the time has come to pass it on.
Or maybe it's just time to sail away.
Find a way to keep holding on.
And make some time for one more day...."
Little More Love – The instability of the past few years led us to look for a utopia of sorts, where good people, living good lives, are the voices that ring true. We truly believe that we live in that world – it’s just been a bit difficult to see and hear lately – but with a little more love….
"... Gotta find a place where we can go,
Where we all come together and the truth is known.
Where the colors don't matter and the words are kind -
With a little more love... we can make it right...."
Lean In – This song is an ode to Ann's childhood – walking with her Aunt Ruth in the back woods of Henderson, NY, learning about trees, birds, rocks. Finding the quiet strength that we lean into to turn off the noise and see our way through – and offering that strength to others.
"...When the world is piling troubles,
And you can't see passed it all,
And you feel like weepin' more than the willow.
As the trees lean in to shelter them
from ever-raging storms,
Just remember - you can lean on in to me...."
Running Away – The story of a man on the verge of retirement from corporate life (and trying to avoid a nervous breakdown!) – finding solace in a dram of whiskey, and knowing that soon he will be running away from the rat race and toward a better life.
"Hell, no - I think it's time to go.
It's written all over the wall.
Show me the door, I can't take anymore.
This body needs and overhaul.
Get out of my way - I need to leave today.
The road's where I belong.
Win some, lose some, gettin' out alive -
cash me out, I'm gone...."
Dear Me (Sloane’s Song) – Ann wrote this tune as a gift for our granddaughter Sloane – a song for those angsty, teenage years – to remember that it’s okay to enjoy them and to remind her of the tools she possesses to see her way through.
Don't take yourself so seriously.
Dear Me, live more, laugh more,
And find the joy in little things.
Give what others think a big back seat,
And let your own voice take the lead.
And if they get unkind, walk away -
just shake the dust from your feet.
You deserve to be happy...."
Follow the Mule – An homage to Doug’s bluegrass roots. This song always makes us smile – and makes us want to get in the car on a sunny day and drive!
The Wrong Track – There is so much information coming at us from all sides, sometimes it’s difficult to know which way to go. Experiences of the past tend to guide our path and drive us forward, but is that always the best way? Perhaps if we slow it down a bit and listen to that inner voice, the track ahead will be clear.
"...Keep your train on the track.
Don't let your mind go wanderin'
'cause you might not make it back.
Keep your train on the track.
Don't let the past define you -
move ahead and don't look back...
...Never the right time, for the wrong track...."
All But Forgotten – Reflections on the difficult climate of the time – and asking the One above all for help. Ghandi says, “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won…. Think of it – always."
"...Weary people... worn down from the fight.
Brothers and sisters unwilling to try.
Help us break through the wall that divides
and let love shine through....”
"There's a brighter day, if you lean in to me."