Y is for You’ll Understand

20160717_004446Sometime a song comes quickly and is written in 15 minutes. Sometimes a song takes months of careful crafting to a state of near perfection. Sadly, neither of these really describes the way that I experience songwriting. Sure, I’ve been lucky enough to capture words and music in what felt like a second, but generally, I’ll write a few words on a page and forget about them. One of these took me 17 years to find and finish! You’ll understand was finished in early 2016 and features on the Fairweather Friends debut album ‘All Life’s Weather” (available through our Facebook page – send us a message!).

You’ll Understand started off as a good old-fashioned Old Testament lament. How long? How far? Woe is me. I feel like it turned into something else after I picked it up, some 12 months after originally penning the bulk of the song.

When I was at theological college, there was one particular lecturer who could only see the lament. I think she sought out the wrongs of the world in order to build up some sort of artificial outrage, yelling at screaming at God, or g*d or whatever she said. Let’s just say that she an I didn’t often see eye-to-eye, and she is one of the primary reasons that I deferred college and why I never made it back.

I guess my theological college experience built some level of woe is me complex in me. The church I was in was crying out for people to do the work, but ever step I took involved some sort of wall to climb over or thorn bush to climb through. It was about 10 years ago now that I deferred study and re-entered the workforce, for what was meant to be 6 months.

I deferred because I was depressed, and I’ve been seeking answers for my depression and anxiety ever since. Music is definitely something that helps, most of the time. I do find writing to be a cathartic experience. Get it off your chest. It doesn’t fix anything, but it helps.

Sitting depressed at my work desk, I asked “How long? How long?”. I thought I was writing something in the blues tradition, 12 or 16 bar blues that is. I folded up the piece of paper and stuck it into my book of words. Ever couple of months I’d take it out, look it over and put it back. I didn’t need anything more to take me down.  Then, with some light at the end of the tunnel it took a different turn.

I remembered the words of a preacher I met 15 years ago. He always said before the benediction (the last bit of a church service where the congregation is sent out with an inspiring quote) “Lift your eyes to receive Christ’s blessings”. Don’t have your eyes closed and eyes shut when I tell you to you will be blessed by God. “Open your eyes, look to the sun/Son”.

You’ll Understand started to become a song of hope for me. Open your eyes, look up, pay attention. “I used to ask why, but now I don’t try. If you’re meant to know, you’ll understand”. If you’re not meant to know, enjoy the mystery, but eyes up!


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