Roots

It’s only been a few months since I’ve returned to writing songs, but already, I’m seeing that mostly what I write about is the push-pull that probably defines my life more than anything else does — leaving vs staying. (This is actually pretty convenient, since it’s what most country and pop songs are about anyway.)

I wrote this song, “Roots,” back in August. I was sitting in the rocking chair on my porch with my guitar, looking out at my favorite view of our land — the view that, more than anything else, pulls me to stay. The wildflowers were still in the midst of their ecstatic and un-mowed bloom, the trees had just begun to think about turning color, River was happily engaged in her ongoing feud with the resident squirrel. Everything was silent and still except for an occasional contented ‘baaaa’ from the sheep down the road. It was a perfect moment of peace — the sort that I’d longed for all through the years when I’d imagined what it would be like to have a little house in the woods. 

I mostly write about this push-pull in metaphor, and I’ve come to think that all love songs are metaphors for something bigger, even if they also refer to a person. Certainly for me, that’s true. I didn’t consciously realize it at the time — I was mostly interested in exploring the tension between the words “forever” and “never/ever” — but I saw after I wrote it that I’m singing this song not to some external lover, but to myself and to the land and to my trees. And to the part of me that longs to put down roots, imploring the part of me that is too restless to do so, to please let us stay.

 “Roots” is also written as a thank you in payment of the debt I owe to Townes Van Zandt’s “I’ll Be Here in the Morning,” the song that, as I wrote about last time, first re-opened the possibility of going back to my music.  And probably not by coincidence, “I’ll Be here in the Morning” also wrestles with the push-pull of leaving vs staying, and comes down on the side of staying… “for awhile.”

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO “ROOTS”:

Roots © 2020 Faith Currant
ROOTS
Written, sung and co-produced by Faith Currant

When it comes to loving, I’ve never been much good at staying
When it comes to leaving, I’ve always been the one to go
Now summer’s fading into fall
I find I have no will at all
To leave your arms and face the bitter cold 

So if you’re planning for the future
I hope you want forever
‘Cuz I don’t think I ever wanna go
You gave me roots to ground my wings
In sacred ordinary things    
You showed me love when lonely’s all I’d known
Please don’t make me go back to
My life before I needed you, please
Let me stay forever
‘Cuz I don’t ever wanna go.

I like the way you’re grouchy till you’ve had your morning coffee
Sugar with a little cream in your faded flannel robe
I like the way you always find
A gentle way to ease my mind
I like the way you always take it slow.
 
So if you’re planning for the future
I hope you want forever
‘Cuz I don’t think I ever wanna go
You gave me roots to ground my wings
In sacred ordinary things    
You showed me love when lonely’s all I’d known

I’ve never planted a tree and watched it grow through the years
Or watched the seasons turn outside my door
A life of leaving’s never got me further from my fears
I don’t want to do it anymore.

Outside the rain is colder now, inside I’m feeling older now
I never used to think about these crazy kinds of things
But I went down to the garden store
And bought a baby sycamore
I hope to see it blossom in the spring.

So if you’re planning for the future
I hope you want forever
‘Cuz I don’t think I ever wanna go
You gave me roots to ground my wings
In sacred ordinary things    
You showed me love when lonely’s all I’d known
Please don’t make me go back to
My life before I needed you, please
Let me stay forever
‘Cuz I don’t ever wanna go.

Won’t you let me stay forever
‘Cuz I don’t think I ever wanna go.
 
© 2020 Faith Currant
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