A Blog about Random Stuff - Occasionally Music Related
I will fly someday
I'll break these feet of clay
Then I'll be on my way
On my way...
Someday - written by Darrell Scott
This months lyric comes from a powerful song written by one of my favorite contemporary writers; Darrell Scott. You may not know of Darrell (you should) but you know his work. He wrote "It's a Great Day to Be Alive" recorded by Travis Tritt and Cory Morrow, "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive" recorded by Brad Paisley, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Zakk Wylde, Red Molly, Dave Alvin and the Ruby Friedman Orrchestra as well as "Long Time Gone" by the Dixie Chicks. This is an abbreviated list of his songs covered by artists of note. For me this month's song, Someday, is poignant because it is inspiring and sad all at once. It gives a brief account of 3 men who can't find happiness though they know they have the ability. Each relegating that happiness and fulfillment to the future where, in reality, it may not happen. Sound familiar? I will tell you that for me at least it rings true and I have to believe it does for most of you.
Have you ever dreamed of that “someday” when you have the time and courage to chase your wildest dream? Why, of course you have. It is a favorite past time in this world. We all say it. Something along the lines of “someday when I am (rich enough, smart enough, old enough, have the time or [insert your particular requirement here]) I will (write more, perform more, record my music, see the world or [insert dream here]). You know exactly what I mean. That thing or things you're always thinking about but forever making excuses about, the prerequisites you say you need to meet before you take that next step. You know what boys and girls? I am 69 years old and I don't have time for that crap. I am suggesting that you don't either no matter what your age. Life is short and often takes unexpected turns. I know this from experience and heck I still say “someday” myself. Today I am here to tell you that the old saying; “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is unquestionably true. Without that first step there is no journey. So what's a poor boy to do but to play in a rock-n-roll band (I will admit sometimes I think in lyrics). But seriously, take that first step already. What in the heck are you waiting for? You don't need to be anything “enough” to start down the path. The path is there so take that first step already!
Even though I am an artist as well as a pie-in-the-sky dreamer, I am also a bit of a realist. I know that you may well take that first step, then the second, third, and even the fourth or more, then at some point you may realize; "hey this just ain't for me. This [insert dream here] thing is not what I thought it would be". You know what? It is OK if you do that. No, ignore that. It is much better than OK. You have learned about something that doesn't suit you. So now instead of wasting years dreaming about something you are gonna hate when you get it, why not start with that first step so you can know if it is for you or not. If it is your calling then keep on going. If not, you aren't a quitter, nope, you now know what doesn't suit you. If you are the analytic type (I tend to be). You can use this new found information about yourself to come up with better dreams that you might finally chase to the end. As the old saying goes "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and the gain in this case is self-knowledge. In my opinion that is the most important knowledge you can possess. All other knowledge is available on the internet or in a book But the mystery that is "you" has no manual or instructions. It requires experimentation and many failures to find the proper path for you..Every failure, dead-end path and dissatisfaction gives you a hint of what new path to take next.
I remember a commercial back in the late 60's or early 70's. They were commercial spots on the local "underground" FM radio stations. You know the folks that played album cuts and obscure artists rather than top 40 hits. It was for the "Do It Now Foundation". I have no idea what they do or did but the name has stuck with me for more than 40 years. Instead of saying "someday" take the Do It Now Foundation's name to heart and get going doing it now. It doesn't have to be a big step or something that you announce to the world. In fact it is best if you don't. In my experience it is almost always better to do it before announcing it. If I posted a blog about every song I was going to write, I would have posted a lot of blogs about songs that never got written. Nope, for me I like to do first and then announce. It saves my fragile psyche from the damage of letting the whole world know what a flaky, shaky, vacillating person I am. Remember, just like Vegas, what happens in your head needs to stay in your head. Save that for your art. Your fans will think you a genius but you will know that that ain't really so. Nope, you're just weird. But there is no reason to tell them otherwise.
So now you are started, what about finishing? Well my friends, that is the beauty of my way. Go as far as you want. Every path is endless. You get to your goal and find that a million different new roads stretch out before you. The journey never ends, instead it constantly morphs and changes. In my experience, everyone's path is different but also the same. We are each trying to understand ourselves and the universe from our utterly unique perspective. Do not believe any of the blather you hear about the “proper path” or the right way to get some where. The possible paths from point A to point B are infinite. There is no wrong path only possible paths. Now, I will admit there are some scary paths, painful paths, long paths, short paths and harmful paths. But we are artists aren't we. It is our job to take those roads less traveled and travel them, documenting the pain of our failures and joys of our successes. Every time we lose we also win the knowledge of a path that doesn't suit us. So take a new one already. There are more to choose from than you can ever take or even imagine. I have found in my personal experience that often I set a course for one goal only to wind up somewhere unexpected. You can call that failure if you like but I choose to call my destination a discovery and use it as a way-point in my greater journey.
Someday never gets here for most people. They live their day-to-day mundane existences always dreaming of that far-off someday yet somehow never getting started down their dreamed of paths. But you my friend are an artist. That is a magical thing to be in this world. You have the job of showing others how the world looks, sounds, tastes and feels to you. As common as we each believe our experiences are no two experience any situation in exactly the same way. As artists we have the pleasure and the unique responsibility of documenting our experiential existence so that others can say things like: hey that is exactly how that feels or I never thought about it like that. As artists we write our own story and tell it as we go to others. We don't do it for profit of fame. No, we do it because we must. It is a need as necessary as breathing. So breathe, savor each breath and be an artist now! It costs nothing, takes no training and closes no doors and excludes nothing else. Forget about someday, do it now. You won't regret it.
See you next month!
Randy Brown is a full-time singer/songwriter living in East Texas and has been involved with many sides of the music business over the years, from being a sideman, a sound man, touring songwriter, producer, operating a venue, and a recording studio owner/engineer. He uses the word "someday" a lot even though he knows his days are numbered.