Sad songs are good

Today I ran across this note that I wrote late one night in the spring of 2015 while we were working on the “Story and Song” album. I’m not sure why I didn’t last year, but I think I should share this-

 “I’ve been thinking about divorce today. We did some tracking in the studio and one of the songs we cut is a cold, sad song called “If our love.” 

 The first verse I wrote while thinking about someone I knew who was going through a divorce-

‘If our love was a house, sitting on a piece of land

With a picket fence surrounding what we’d build with our two hands

Good intentions could not hold what was built upon the sand

If our love was a house, it would be condemned’

 I know SO many folks who have gone through a divorce, and I’ve experienced them from the perspective of being the kid, twice. The 1st one happened when I was 8, the 2nd one when I was 13. During this time I was becoming aware musically and I was beginning to understand what songs like “The Dance” really were all about. I paid close attention to lyrics and I remember crying when I heard Roy Orbison sing “Love Hurts.” Oh, how I knew he was right. I wondered what it would be like to be in love like when George Strait sang “I cross my heart” and I dreamed about what that must feel like! 

 The 1st original song that ever came to me was when I was about 12. I stillremember the words and the tune-

‘Oh rain, wash my tears away

My baby has left me in such a bad way

I know I can’t help it, so please come and wash them away

Wash my tears away’

It’s crazy how after all these years and no matter how happily married I may be, I can still get in touch with that kind of hurt. Having my kids has brought it all to the surface even more these days, as I now consider what it must feel like to go through a divorce as a parent. Sheesh…I can’t imagine. 

 I think we can all summon pain from the past. Most of us bury it, and I honestly don’t blame those who do. But sometimes I like to get ahold of it again. I have this curiosity to dig up the sad bones from my subconscious and start “resurrecting memories from a love that’s dead and gone” (Randy Travis), even if it’s a love gone wrong that I only witnessed, not necessarily experienced. Maybe I think just getting down and wallerin’ in it every once in a while will remind me that divorce can happen to anybody, including me. 

So that’s why I write sad songs. That’s why I go in the studio and stir that old pile of sadness. It’s therapy, and songs are my psychologist.

 Tonight I’m filled with sensitivity and sadness about all those who are blindly heading straight to the death of a marriage. Please see things for what they are and CHANGE the path you are headed down! I pray that I’ll not miss any signs that pop up along the way and that we’ll seek God and His truths. I wanna build my house of love on His foundational truths, the solid rock, not the sand I spoke of in the new song we cut today. 

 I think sad songs are positive when they wake us up. It is good to feel. We are meant to feel pain and feel happiness. If you’re numb to both, watch out! If you have to manufacture happiness to hide pain, then find a way to waller’ in it for just a little while. After that, maybe you can do something positive with it moving forward. Hard times make the good times good. 

 I personally think that todays country music could reflect a little more hard times, because God knows our lives still do.”