Below are the inspirations from my life that grew into songs. Each one is a piece of my heart, but I also believe that from time to time you might have felt the same way. So enjoy reading about the roots of these songs, but I would love it even more if they grew to mean something more meaningful in your own life.
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1. “Gotta Have Him” was as cheerful and upbeat to write as it makes you feel. It’s all about the magic of falling in love. I believe that when it happens for real, it is so different from anything you’ve ever felt. It’s a beautiful mystery that makes takes you to the top of the world. But there’s also an element of disbelief at the beginning. Its hard to comprehend that someone could love you so wonderfully.
I wrote this song on a long road trip. The melody just popped in my head, so I started ad libbing lyrics over some hand claps, and before I knew it I had 2 verses and a chorus. Sometimes you get really lucky with a song like this that feels like it almost finishes itself. I think describing these feelings came so easily because falling in love feels effortless—It takes your heart by storm. The real work and character building comes later in the relationship, and I will continue to write plenty about that. But I wanted this song to just describe the simple, wonderful feeling of falling for someone.
2. “Darlin’” is certainly a heartbreak song. It’s about the relationship gone wrong. I think there are a lot of people out there who don’t know what they want, so they stumble through relationships until they finally figure it out. The trouble with that is the trail of broken hearts they leave along the way. I’ve definitely had my fair share of heartbreaks that found their way into sad songs, but I wanted this song to be different. It’s less about the emotional train wreck, and more about having a sense of humor in these situations. It’s a girl who’s realized she’s being strung along, and would rather know the truth than constantly getting blown off. Unfortunately I’ve been on both sides of this story, so it’s not from a self-righteous perspective, but rather a wake up call to both types of people to let these destructive relationships go.
3. “Make Us Stronger” Is a cry of desperation to save a broken relationship. It begins in the ruins, but points to so much hope. I’ve realized that there comes a point when you have to abandon your pride in a relationship if you’re going to make it work. This song is about that final fight where, even though things have slipped into destruction, you make the choice to surrender and ask that person to stay with you and work it out. Fighting can be so detrimental and painful, but when it is sorted out the right way I believe that it can make your feelings, your commitment, and your foundation so much stronger.
4. “Found a Heart” is about the journey to my wedding day. From verse to verse it describes the growth of the truest relationship I’ve ever experienced. It starts with a naive adoration of this somewhat unknown, but wonderful person until that day when you realize that you’re staring into the heart of the person who understands you better than you’ve ever been understood. I think that the big leap is finally realizing that you’re ready. Because real life and real love can be hard. It’s not just the butterflies, it’s also the mistakes. So this song describes the realization of the commitment that a lifelong relationship needs, and the pure excitement to start on the journey.
5. “Cutting Ties” is a song for a dear friend. To me life is about the people you meet and the relationships that grow with time—the ones with people that really know you. It’s so heartbreaking to me when those people go through personal tragedies. I’ve seen several friends go through things that make them hurt so badly that they don’t know how to cope with it except to cut ties with anyone who might remind them of it. But I think there’s a healing quality to processing that pain with someone who knows you and loves you rather than running away from it. Even though I wish everyone could avoid pain altogether, I do think that those lows can build character and ultimately become building blocks that make up a better version of yourself in 10 years. That’s what this song is all about. It’s encouragement to a friend to keep moving through the tough times into the peace that comes afterwards.
// Notes from the Road
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