song11

Release Date: 5/13

Album: THE OWL AND THE FULL MOON

Writer: ADAM MARSLAND

Audio:

Video:

 

Lyrics:

There's a road
That sometimes gets obscured and overgrown by weeds and brambles deep within me
It keeps me whole
I know when I'm not on it and I fight through tangled brush to find my footing

I found my way back
I found my way back
I found my way back home

You and I
We found a moment and it's beautiful and real and it's fleeting
I know now
That though we're not allowed to play in sunshine all the time we keep the feeling

But I found my way back
I found my way back
I may have lost my faith but I found a friend

Let's walk
Together
Hold me
Remember
Laughter
Forgiveness
When I'm gone
Relive this
It won't last forever
But maybe that's the point of it all

I lost my way
Stranded on an island in a poison water ocean ever churning
But anyway
I’m likely to go back one day but I hope that if I do I'll be returning

I'll find my way back
I'll find my way back
I may have lost my faith but I found my friends

Today was perfect
Tomorrow's clouds are forming and the wind is cold and hints of rain

But I'll find my way back
I'll find my way back
I may have lost my faith but I found my friends

Nothing lasts forever
But maybe that's the point of it all

Musicians:

Adam - all vocals and instruments

Adam sez:

"Song 11" is the culmination of a couple of themes I've tried to get a handle on, and write about, for many years -- loss, how small, ephemeral moments are the most transcendent, and what the point of existence is. I grappled with these ideas on a bunch of earlier songs - "Ludlow 6:18," "The Foghorn," "How Can You Stand It," "Disappear," to name a few, but when I got "Song 11" together I took a step back and said, "wow, Adam, you finally nailed it." To me, this song pulls all these disparate ideas together in one place and brings it down to one easy message: "nothing lasts forever, and maybe that's the point of it all."

My mother, who was the person in my family I was closest to and my role model in many ways, died the month THE OWL AND THE FULL MOON came out. I am told by my brother that she did listen to the album before she passed away. After performing it for a while I came to understand that she had inspired it without me realizing it. Often you use other songs as subconscious jumping off points for bits of your songs and after some time I understood that one line of the song was inspired by an old Pete Townshend song about reincarnation I had heard many years ago - I didn't lift any of it, it was just the vibe and the cadence of one of the words. Then I realized that the whole song tied in with a conversation I had with my mom when we went for a drive back home in upstate New York not long before she died. She said she envisioned being reincarnated and having all of the people in this life that she cared about being around her, just in different forms. Which was pretty much exactly the theme of the Pete Townshend song. And I think without being aware of it those two similar ideas tied together, plus the memory of that day, led to me being able to zero in this song. It's hazy and it's mystical, but it also locks on to a fleeting idea of what life is all about, that sense we occasionally get for just a second that we are fully in the present and at one with the universe. It's like catching the wind, really.

The first person I played this song for didn't dig it, so I was afraid this was one of those deals where you get it but no one else does, which bummed me out, because I was really happy about this song. Over time, though, it became clear that it was an idea that really did resonate for people, and the song had done its job. I closed most of my shows on the 2013 tour with an intimate version of this song, and no matter how goofy the show wound up being, it always made for a moving finish.

I was really happy with how the recording came out, particularly the vocals, but also the soundscape of it. Adding harmonica, an instrument I very rarely play, was that one little touch that made the whole thing come alive. Incidentally, the song title just comes from the fact that when I started doing OWL, I just had a bunch of tracks with no names, so they were labeled Song 1, Song 2 and so forth. This was the song that was in the file for "Song 11." I couldn't think of a better title. It seems to resonate with the tune's mystical quality, and eleven rhymes with heaven. When I sing this song, I think of my mom, and envision her young and frolicking in a meadow somewhere, starting life over again.

THE OWL AND THE FULL MOON was an album made when I was in a depressed and somewhat desperate frame of mind. When I had written the title track, I was hoping for an optimistic future that didn't wind up manifesting itself when I wanted it to. Finishing the album with "Song 11," after all of the melodic resignation that preceded it, felt like a redemption, and indeed, that's what it was for me. Better things did come my way, and it was in large degree due to grasping the idea of this song: life is short, small moments matter, always be present, pain gives birth to joy, and fear robs happiness.

If it happens that I never make another album of my own music after OWL, and "Song 11" is the last statement I make, then I can't think of a better thought to go out with. It wraps up all the ideas I grappled with perfectly.

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