Just recently I attended a songwriter showcase. While there I always enjoy the opportunity to speak with other musicians and listen to their constructive feedback. In a recent gathering a fellow songwriter mentioned how I write an awful lot about relationships and he is right. I do.
It has always made a lot of sense for me to write about relationships. Relationships bring about strong emotions and plenty of lyrical fuel but at the same time each relationship has a unique story to tell. ‘Waiting On You’ is perhaps one of my favorite stories to tell and yet the story is just a bit hidden. This was done on purpose.
“The night is quiet. The road is empty
We’re parked to one side
I look in your eyes. You’ve got something to tell me.
You breathe in and let out a sigh
You’re biting your bottom lip
Balled your hand up into a fist
And I’m reaching out for you expecting the worst.”
One autumn evening I was driving in my little red Dodge Neon and my girlfriend was in the seat beside me. We had pulled over to the side of the road because she needed to talk. Of course I am thinking that this is a break up. I was wrong.
In that moment with the streets wet and the dead leaves strewn about the ground, she was mustering up the strength to tell me something entirely different. Not knowing what she was going to say, I sat there and waited for the next word to come out of her mouth.
“Your eyes are closed. The words come slowly.
Look up to see me smile.
A little bit nervous. It wont overtake me
We sit in silence a while
I brushed my thumb against your cheek
Run my fingers through your hair.
It will be so hard to get to sleep. I know we’re both scared.”
What I thought was a break up ended up being a different conversation altogether. She told me that she was “late”. She didn’t know how I would react to the news. I only smiled.
She asked me what I was thinking and I remember reaching out to touch her. This wasn’t something I was going to want to tell my parents but at the same time I told her that if she is pregnant then I would be there for her and the child.
At this point she gave me the greatest compliment I have never received. She said ” I think would would be a good dad.”
Once again I was waiting for her. I was waiting to find out the results of a pregnancy test. I was waiting to find out if I would indeed be a father and I was excited to not only start a family but to start a family with her.
For those that know me, you know I do not have any children. So, does that mean that the pregnancy test came back negative? Yes and no. Yes the pregnancy came back negative but no it did not come back negative after that night.
A few days after our roadside conversation, she made a confession. She told me that she knew that she wasn’t pregnant and that she had taken a pregnancy test a week prior. She told me that she just wanted to see how I might react. She then asked if I hated her.
The only feeling I had was of disappointment. For a few days I thought I was about to be a parent only to find out that I was lied to by my girlfriend to test me. I didn’t hate her but we did drift apart.
The song has a much happier feeling than the actual experience and that is because I did not want to focus on the lie and the disappointment. I think the song, as is, makes for a better story.
I was waiting for inspiration to hit me this evening when I read your post, so thank you for that! I finally made my first “real” blog post after reading this one of yours. 🙂
I see what you drifted apart. Wow. But you’re right – I don’t think that’s something anyone would have guessed from the mood of that song. It’s great that you got your meaning out and that people can interpret it multiple ways without you needing to focus on the negatives of the situation. Nice job!
PS – The Swell Season is one of my favorite bands. Have you seen them perform live? Most amazing concert I’ve ever been to. I think I was floating for two days after that concert; I told my husband I could die happy without ever seeing another concert again. haha
Happy to hear that it inspired you. =)
Thank you so much for reading.