Empty House (Velvet and Steel)

~ soft rock ballad ~ 2011-03-22

The people we need most are those who see our potential and help us reach it, even when others have abandoned us.

Notes / Back story

I have always loved the mystery and history of old buildings; loved to explore them and find things left behind or forgotten by others. I've always had dreams of fixing up old buildings and making them cool, useful, and functional in some creative way. I have done quite a bit of construction work over the years. a few years earlier, before my divorce, I built a room onto the back of my house: I dug the foundations by hand, poured the concrete, framed the structure, installed a sliding door, wired the electrical, installed recessed lighting, laid the roofing, hung, taped, mudded and sanded the sheetrock, painted the walls. The only thing I didn't do was lay the carpet... that came free with the order. Oh yeah... and I redid the plumbing to relocate and replace the kitchen sink, and replaced all the kitchen cabinets and countertops.

I got the original inspiration for this song while driving through Idaho farmland in the spring of 2005, noticing the many abandoned farmhouses sitting vacant in the middle of the fields. At this time in life I had just gone through a divorce and was getting acquainted with others who had gone through similar trials. There are a lot of lonely, empty, broken people out there who need someone to love and care about them; someone to fix them up and help them move on. It's a beautiful thing when people can see past the scars and look at the underlying structure.

References: New Testament, I Corinthians 13, LDS Doctrine and Covenants 76:94


She sees herself as an empty house
Cold and windowless
Quiet as a mouse

I see myself as a handyman
Good at fixin' things
And workin' with my hands

I'll take her
And make her a home again
I'll hold her
I told her I would

And it'll be good.

Her trimmings torn and her walls all bare
The previous tenants
Didn't take much care

So many things are broken
See all the tears she's chokin' back

I'll stay here
With no fear, these beams are strong
And there is beauty
In all that I see

And she will be
Velvet and steel
In perfect combination
She is
Wonderful and real
A miracle of creation

For a man like me
A man who can see

That she's
Strong on the inside
When she's
Soft on the outside
And she's
Strong on the outside
When she's
Soft on the inside

She is
Velvet and steel


I see myself an abandoned mine
Dark and silent
For the gold no one could find

She sees herself a gemologist
Finding precious stones
And holding diamonds in her fist

She'll take me
And make me a treasure trove
She'll hold me
She told me she would

And It'll be good.

Are we old or new, are we fasle or true?
Are we beaten down by the storms we have been through?

Well it may depend on what we believe
But it's likely what somebody else can see

Worth saving;
Worth taking the time to know
We can find beauty
Wherever we go

'Cause we are
Velvet and steel
In perfect combination
We are
Wonderful and real
A miracle of creation

To those who can see
All that we can be

I see myself as she sees herself
She sees herself as I see myself
See as I'm seen, and know as I'm known
To see as she's seen, and know as she's known

Velvet and steel
We are
Velvet and steel

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