The Music of Kelly Van Shaar

Peacefully Believing

~ Soft rock, jazz ~ 2015-06-17


When it comes to learning to trust, actions speak louder than words, and it may take a little time.

Lyrics

Alone
You've been betrayed
You've been abandoned
And left afraid

You may not even realize
The trouble showing in your eyes.

I won't ask you to trust a thing I say
After what you've been through you'd be a fool to anyway

I could say, "This time's fovever"
But you know nothing's forever
I could say, "I'll always be there"
But you know no one's ever been there.

I could swear by all that's holy and that's true
But would it be more than empty words to you?

No, it may take a little while
To figure it out
It may take a little while
To remove the doubt
It's okay if it takes some time
Until you're peacefully believing.

But when the wind blows
We'll weather it together
If the rain comes
We'll welcome it whenever
When the snow falls
Oh, we'll be doin' fine
And when the sun comes
Then we will shine, shine, shine; we'll shine.

And we'll be peacefully, peacefully, peacefully, peacefully believing.
And we'll be peacefully, peacefully, peacefully, peacefully believing.

(Instrumental break 12 bars)

You've been strong
Because you've had to
Nothing wrong
With being strong

Like a tree on a cliff
Clinging to the rock
Bending with the wind
And hanging on,
Hanging on...

Come and bring your strong and lonely tree
And plant it in the forest, here by me.

And when the wind blows
We'll weather it together
If the rain comes
We'll welcome it whenever
When the snow falls
Our branches will entwine
And when the sun comes
Then we will shine, shine, shine;

And it may take a little while
To figure it out
It's okay if it takes a while
To remove that doubt
We'll just take one day at a time
Until you're peacefully believing.

And when the wind blows
Peacefully believing.
If the rain comes
Peacefully believing.
When the snow falls
Our branches will entwine
And when the sun comes
Then we will shine, shine, shine;
We'll shine.

(Instrumental chorus)

And when the wind blows
We'll weather it together
And if the rain comes
We'll welcome it whenever
When the snow falls
Our branches will entwine
And when the sun comes
Then we will shine, shine, shine;
We'll shine.

(groovy breakdown thing)

And it may take a little while
To figure it out
It's okay if it takes a while
To remove the doubt
We'll just take one day at a time
Until you're peacefully believing.

Notes / Back story

This song features a jazz piano part like nothing I have ever written. I don't know where it came from or how it got there. I just started writing and this is what came out.


Ever notice how artists never want to tell you what their creations are about? It's like a secret rule or something. But nobody ever taught me that rule....I guess I'm not in the club.


When I came up with this song I was thinking specifically about adoption, but I've realized since then that it can apply to lots of similar circumstances, when someone who has been alone is brought into a loving circle that may seem to good too be true.


The beginnings of this song just came to me. They were the words and melody for the lines:


It may take a little while

To figure it out

It may take a little while

To remove the doubt

It's okay if it takes some time

Until you're...(dah da dah da dah dah)



Yes, just like that. I had no finish for the final line. Just, "Until you're..." and then I knew how the melody would go, but I didn't know the lyrics. I had to actually think about them for a while with my conscious mind. I much prefer it when they come already assembled. Then I feel like it's more 'legit'; I don't worry that my brain is getting in the way. But alas, I figured out some words to finish the line all on my own, with my brain, and now I can't imagine them being anything else. So I guess that's good. I mean, I always have to do a lot of good old fashioned figuring, but usually there's a main part of the song that just comes ready, and I build it out from there.


Another interesting thing about this song is that the part you'd really call the chorus; the repeating, catchy part that everybody can remember and sing along with - was not part of the original inspiration.


On this song I wrote down the lyrics and melody for the part mentioned above and then built it out from there, just kinda writing free-form ideas to lead up to that section and then some more stuff after it. Then I started assembling the thoughts and looking for patterns in rhythm and rhyme that I could use, and then once I found something, singing melody ideas in my head.


After I had written in the melody for pretty much all of the little sections in the second half of the song, I started putting them into logical order and then working out the harmonies. That was when I realized that the part that these lines could make a pretty catchy chorus:


But when the wind blows

We'll weather it together

If the rain comes

We'll welcome it whenever

When the snow falls

Oh, we'll be doin' fine

And when the sun comes

Then we will shine



Also, I thought it could easily fit in more than one place in the song. And thus, a chorus was born.



I think it's also worth noting that the two verses are not the same length. This is unusual for me, but I'm trying to be less rigid and symmetrical about it these days. I really tried to let the lyrics drive the music, and so once I had down what I wanted to say, rather than writing more words to fill out the missing bars I just eliminated them. And guess what... it doesn't bug me at all.


The music for the following lines is skipped in the 2nd verse:


You may not even realize

The trouble showing in your eyes.


I won't ask you to trust a thing I say

After what you've been through you'd be a fool to anyway


And then, on the first verse it does the "It may take a little while" part first to lead in to the chorus, but then on the second verse it does the chorus first and then leads out with "It may take a little while."


And then that part where it repeats "peacefully, peacefully, peacefully believing" is only in the song once, right before the instrumental break between the verses.


So anyway, it's driven by meaning and not by symmetry OCD. I also put a lot of hours into making it so the sections that do repeat don't sound the same. In the instances where I did use copy and paste, I went in and changed stuff afterwards. I tried to mix up the instruments and add some fancier parts as it goes along so that it builds. I did this even more after I had done my vocal recording. There is so much that I just don't know how it's going to sound until I hear it all together. One of my difficulties is that I spend too many hours tinkering with inner voicings of a chord that eventually will be so buried by vocals or other instruments that it ends up being completely unheard, so I'm trying to push myself to record the vocals as soon as I can and then finish the accompaniment afterwards. Weird, huh? But a much better use of time, even if I end up having to go back and re-record my vocals later when I change something. I didn't have to do that on this one (but maybe I should have!)

Visitor Comments

Kally from United States ~ 2015-07-08 13:53:15 ~ I love the catchy upbeat feel of the song. It is a joy to listen to. Keep up the great work!

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