One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. - Carl Jung
After years of being taught that the way to deal with painful emotions is to get rid of them, it can take a lot of re-schooling to learn to sit with them instead. But learning how to live alone, sitting with difficult feelings is like panning for gold. Those who have slept in the wilderness know things that those who sleep in comfortable houses may never know. This song is about learning how to sleep in the wilderness.
I wrote this with my friend Gretchen Peters, and it contains a long list of firsts. It was our first co-write, it was Buddy Miller’s first placement as Music Supervisor for the ABC TV Hit Show Nashville, it was the first song of Nashville’s Season 2, and it was my first time to work in the studio with the Legendary Master of Twang, Duane Eddy. All in all, it’s been a magical little song. We wrote it in a very short period of time, I’d say less than 2 hours. It came fast, and I am not sure how we did it. This is always how it goes with songs like this, I forget writing them. It almost like it happened in a dream. I remember Gretchen sitting at her little red piano working on a melody. I remember her saying maybe we should do a list, “First you fall, then you”…. and so on, and the rest is a blur. Lines came to me, lines came to her, and we rode the flow. We emerged with this song in short period of time, did a rough demo, and the rest is history.
Lead Vocal, Acoustic Guitar - Mary Gauthier Electric Guitar - Guthrie Trapp Upright Bass - Viktor Krauss Drums - Lynn Williams Piano - Jimmy Wallace Harmonium - Darrell Scott Background Vocals - Darrell Scott and Beth Nielsen Chapman, McCrary Sisters Electric Guitar Solo - Special thanks to the legendary Duane Eddy, the eternal master of Twang
Produced by Mary Gauthier and Patrick Granado ©2014 Mary Gauthier/In the Black Records
LYRICS: HOW YOU LEARN TO LIVE ALONE
First you fall then you fly And you believe that you belong up in the sky Flap your arms as you run, every revolution Brings you closer to the sun You fall asleep in motion in uncharted hemispheres And wake up with the stars falling down around your ears When they hit the ground they’re nothing but stones That’s how you learn to live alone That’s how you learn to live alone
Bit by bit, you slip away You loose yourself in pieces in the things that you don’t say You’re not here, but you’re still there The sun goes up, the sun goes down And you’re not sure you care You live inside the false, till you don’t recognize the true People send you pictures, and you can’t believe it’s you It’s been years since your house has felt like home That’s how you learn to live alone That’s how you learn to live alone
It don’t feel right, but it’s not wrong It’s just hard to start again this far along Brick by brick, the letting go As you walk away from everything you know You release resistance, lean into the wind Till the roof begins to crumble and the rain comes pouring in And you sit there in the rubble, till the rubble feels like home That’s how you learn to live alone That’s how you learn to live alone That’s how you learn to live alone
©2013 Mary Gauthier/Gretchen Peters