lyrics and background for somewhere in between

1. open road

The idea for this song came during a late afternoon drive. An open road can be exciting and intimidating.

It feels a lot like drowning I’m told. The evening falls and the shadows grow
The angry sky is about to explode. It feels a lot like drowning I’m told
Oh . . . . The open road

Spirits dance across my radio. It’s hard to tell if I’m coming or going
To tell the truth, I’ve never really known. Spirits dance across my radio
Oh . . . . The open road Oh . . . . the open road

I drive away into another big mistake. Am I a renaissance or just a fool escaping?
I’m addicted to the thrill of the thought of leaving home for this open road

I’m breaking down and I’m breaking up. What I’ve got ain’t never enough
A thousand miles from what I want. I’m breaking down and breaking up
Oh . . . . the open road Oh . . . . the open road

2. Restless

A song about wanting to be many places at the same time.

The snow is melting; I know what it means. Soon we’ll see a new green rising from the fields
I’ve been around awhile and it’s been around me.
Been around for long enough to know it’s time to leave

I owe my heart to this river. I throw my eyes to the sea.
Most my life I’ve been living somewhere in between
There’s nothing wrong with Ohio. I’m just restless

The mountains disappear around 5 am. Can’t say I don’t love it here, but I’m wandering again.
They whisper my name and say, “Son, where you been”
All the time in the world, the stories I’ve heard could never bury all of my sin.

I can’t sleep tonight. I can’t win this fight
If I go, I lose home; If I stay I don’t know what I’ll find on the other side
I can’t sleep tonight

3. we’re all right

A love song about always seeking adventure.

Let’s build us a life out of sunshine and asphalt. Stay on the run and never get caught
Let’s fall asleep by the light of the stars. The road may be theirs but the evening is ours

Cinnamon, cigarettes, a saltwater breeze. Sunsets make silhouettes of only palm trees
No regrets, never rest and oh I believe . . . we’re all right

We’ll let the mist from the ocean baptize our bones, find us an interstate and call it our own
Oh it’s fine for now; in the morning we’re gone. It’s over we’re sober; it’s time to move on

There’s a hill in the distance outlined in red, ditch this old clumsy car and start walking again
Worries behind and my dreams ahead. La da ti da . . . we’re moving ahead

4. matador

A song based on Hemingway’s short story, The capital of the world, which depicts the lives of bullfighters in Spain and a young boy, Paco, who dreams of becoming a matador. Paco’s dream is mocked by a friend who claims fear would prohibit a country boy from succeeding in a bull ring. The friend states, “If it wasn’t for fear, every bootblack in Spain would be a bullfighter.” In an effort to prove he is not afraid, Paco engages in a mock bullfight with his friend using a chair and knives to play the part of the bull. Paco is killed by the knives when the game gets out of hand, but he never relinquishes his nobility. The song honors bullfighters who remain fearless and noble in a time when the art of bullfighting has lost some of its charm. And, it reflects how much can be achieved when there is an absence of fear.

Broken bottles and cigarettes. Despite the threats they ain’t torn it down yet
Hail, hail, hail the matador
If we weren’t afraid maybe we’d be kings. They ‘d call our names as we stand in the ring
Hail, hail, hail the matador

To the capital of the world. We’ll steal away my girl and I
And pay our respects to the matador.

Breaking hearts and doing all right with those Spanish girls in the middle of the night
Rest assured he’ll be ready for a fight come the afternoon
It’s raining roses in the summer sun. We’ll join the choir and sing to the one
Who could save us all from what we’ve done, not a moment to soon

Broke and lonely, we could do a lot worse. Until this fever has run its course
We’re free to yell for more
Come on boys bring in those nets. Tell me haven’t you heard they ain’t torn it down yet
Hail, hail, hail the matador

5. I want to fall

This song was written after having the opportunity to return to Costa Rica, where we had lived for two years, for a week-long trip. The trip was great, but I realized that something was missing. Real life. Life is up and down. Winning and losing. Standing and falling. We need the falling to know that we are really living.

I’m no tourist here to spend the week
Don’t put me up in no hotel down by the beach
I want to come home exhausted and just fall asleep
On the couch in my apartment down the street

Don’t take my picture next to that dark skinned girl
To hang on your refrigerator on the other side of the world
Nothing so beautiful and nothing so clean
Have I ever seen

Oh . . . I want to fall Oh . . . I want to feel
Oh . . . I would trade it all Oh . . . to make it real

Sunburn and blisters, jealousy and doubt
Let me know rejection I could never figure out
Let’s take the long road and not turn around
We’re gonna be here for a while; we’re gonna be here for a while

I don’t need no souvenirs to remind me of the years

6. Blank page

A song for my daughter. My desire for her is that she not be content to fit in the mold others make for her, but rather that she look at the world as a place to be creative and original. The song is as much an autobiography as it is a lesson.

When you find yourself in over your head
And you forget the words that your mom and I said
When you realize you don’t fit in
And you find yourself in over your head

When you go chasing dreams from the corner of your eye
And you break your heart a hundred times
But you don’t slow down and you don’t know why
You go chasing dreams from the corner of your eye

When you see this big old world as nothing but a blank page
You’ll know that you’re my girl and you’ll be okay
When there’s nothing quite so beautiful as the songs along the way
You’re my girl; you’ll be okay

When the neighborhood just don’t understand
That you can’t keep up but you don’t give a damn
About the car in the garage or the line in the sand
The neighborhood just won’t understand

This spirit you inherit, may you wear it like your smile
And carry it forever with the wonder of a child

When this life is hard but not hard enough
To convince you that you’ll ever grow up
When your mind is free and your heart stays young
And this life is hard but not hard enough