"Looking Towards" - Song Explanation

Updated: Feb 25, 2019

Here is a newer song that I wrote, and I am going to share why I wrote it, some challenges I had lyrically, and a sexy video to go with.

This video was recorded at Gypsy Grace and the Vintage Goat. Recording was done by Jason Price. This is one of the songs from my #songwriterspicture social campaign.


Looking Towards (Lyrics)

by Ben Gage


You've got that sweat upon your brow

You've got that sweat upon your brow

Just keep climbing and you won't come down

Branches bare since the leaves are on the ground

You've got that sweat upon your brow


You're chasing every light you ever saw

You're chasing every light you ever saw

In the darkness you always feel too small

Come the morning, you will not care at all

You're chasing every light you ever saw


I know the dogs are barking at your heels

They chase you over rocks and trees and fields

Always felt the need to retreat here


You say that time it moves too slow

You say that time it moves too slow

Pocket full of years has got you feeling old

Faces fade to memories when they've got nowhere to go

You say that time it moves too slow


I know the dogs are barking at your heels

They chase you over rocks and trees and fields

Always felt the need to retreat here


I'll keep you safe, I'll keep you sound

I'll keep you safe, I'll keep you sound

I'll keep you safe...


You lost the dream that you're looking towards

You lost the dream that you're looking towards

Play each note with your back against the door

Falling short of the legends came before

You lost the dream that you're looking towards


I know the dogs are barking at your heels

They chase you over rocks and trees and fields

Always felt the need to retreat here



...There you have it, all of my super deep lyrics.


Backstory:

This song came from a picture I took of a cat that was in a tree in my backyard. I was inside and my dogs were freaking out. You know how you can tell by a dogs bark when something is different? It wasn't a "bark at someone walking" bark. It was a "I can get this thing" bark. So I investigated.


It was a stray cat, chilling in my tree. It wasn't trapped/stuck by any means. It was just hanging out, flicking it's tail, watching two stupid dogs yell for no reason. It could care less. How freeing.


Drawing Board:

I shared this picture on the socials, and asked folks to share some thoughts. I got a ton of awesome responses. Seeing the same picture through other folk's eyes is neat. Some of the responses that stuck out to me I roped into the song.


Branches Bare - from Ralph

Retreat - from Megan

Time - from LostWookiee


Now to pull them all together with a larger idea. The one that stuck in my head was trying to "make it" and what that really means. To me, I came to the music world and songwriting later than I wish I had. I didn't start really writing songs until I was out of college and already on a career path (I still am on that path, and juggle both worlds). That where I eventually pulled the verse about "time it moves too slow". I am singing to my younger self there. Acknowledging how foolish it is to wish time to speed up and how things get lost when you tuck them away (people included).


The "sweat on your brow" is in relation to working hard to be something, nerves from others constant input, and opinions of your life, and from fear. That cat could of been terrified if it wanted to be. My dogs had a lot they wanted to share. However the cat stayed calm, up in an old tree, not enough leaves to hide it, and had no intention of giving in or coming down to their level. Respect.


"Chasing every light you ever saw"... Isn't that the truth. I can't speak for others, but as a musician I am on the hunt for every opportunity I can find. There are moments when I feel so alone and small and it's not until that darkness passes that I realize even a small step towards what I love is still a step. It often seems overwhelming or that it's a futile trek, but we should never stop chasing whatever we see as "light".


I am not trying to get too "deep" here, I just am spewing some of what my brain kicks around as I write.


The chorus is just about my dogs, there is no fancy meaning there. I just pictured a pack of dogs chasing something and whatever is being chased is running towards a place it knows/thinks is safe. That's pretty powerful in itself, where do you feel safe? Something to think about every now and then.


The last verse was the one that gave me trouble. Not that I couldn't find words, more so that it made me sad. It's about a wound that I still haven't closed so I won't share it in a public form, but I wish I had the courage to address it deeper. In short form, I fall into the trap of comparing myself to others much more than I would like. In doing so, I sometimes feel that I have missed opportunities to become something more than I am. Music is what I use as a safety blanket almost always, but it's also a craft that is constantly a step or 10 ahead of me and I know I will never catch up. That is part of the beauty, but also can be a hard pill to swallow.


The bridge came from that thought ^


Music is telling me that it will keep me "safe and sound", and I believe that it will keep me safe. In that I have no doubt. It will give me the outlet I need to not explode. But will it really keep me "sound"? That I leave open to question and also depends on what definition of "sound" I use.


Conclusion:

This song has quickly become one of my favorites to play. It means something to me. It reminds me to keep growing, ignore the barking of others, be proud of accomplishments, don't linger in the dark too long, and push to chase the next dream even if one falls short or ends.


I'd love to hear what it means to you.


#bengage #akronmusicscene


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Ben Gage is a songwriter from Akron, OH.

You can find out more about him here.

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Songs, videos, and more can be found here.




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