Promised Land

Here’s a new song that has, I guess, taken over 20 years to write. I’ve sang this live a few times (before lockdown) and it’s been one of those songs that people have singled out and commented on. Here’s how it came about. I hope you read this before scrolling to the end of the page to get your download. Thanks

In some ways, it doesn’t need a lot of explanation. The lyrics speak for themselves. I started doing this music thing a long time ago. I was talking with Mrs H the other day about it and whether I had any regrets about the way I’ve done things. We talked about what it means to ‘make it’ as a musician and if after spending half my life doing this I should be further up the road.

They’re big questions.

Regrets are funny things. There are obvious things that you regret doing, stupid stuff that is wrong, or it hurts people, those things are pretty obvious when it comes to the regret stakes. If I regret anything its that I tried to juggle this with too much other stuff, and maybe more specifically, a church that really wasn’t into me doing what I do. I was fighting too may battles at once and it meant I didn’t give any of it 100%. The thing is, if I hadn’t taken this road I’d never have met Mrs H and I wouldn’t have this amazing family. If that’s the cost of not making it, that’s OK. But I’m sad because that cost was so unavoidable and after all that fighting it seems no-one won.

And then there’s ‘making it’. What does that even mean? I love being on stage. I love performing my songs, connecting with the audience. I don’t get nervous, I feel so at home and feel like I’m making and catching up with friends. When I do that for whatever size of venue or crowd, I’ve made it.

I love being on the road, having a full diary, something I miss like crazy during lockdown. I’ve met so many people, made so many friends and seen some amazing places. It’s long hours and hard work but that’s OK.

The reward is having emails and messages from people saying how much what they heard has meant to them. It’s someone choosing to have my song lyric on their gravestone or as a tattoo, or sung at their wedding. It’s all happened and it’s all humbling.

I’m now at a point where I can give 100% to this. The melancholy of that is that maybe it’s too late. For the first time I’m wondering if I should resign myself to the fact that this is as good as it gets, which isn’t meant to sound as negative as it perhaps does. I confess I would like to be just a little higher up the mountain – I feel like I have stuff that needs to be said and I’d still like to play at the Albert Hall (if you know anyone there, let me know). I watch music documentaries of mega stars who often say they don’t know how long it’s going to last and so they need to make the most of it. I’ve seen that level of ‘success’ screw people up. I’ve met people who have been their and they carry a bitterness – I’m thankful that I’ve been spared that.

I’m thankful, thoughtful and glad that, at least for now, this road winds on and that some of you reading this, appreciate what I do. I’m thankful that on this road I’ve made so many friends and that the things I’ve said and sung have, I hope, made a difference, however small.

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