Jacalin walks a while in Iceland, one of many inspiring trips we’ve taken together.
It’s been a long time since I wrote a new song, but finally, I’m done on this one. Let’s Walk A While has been some years in the making, but it’s here to share with you now. It’s not perfect, but it’s special to me, as you’ll discover. But take a listen first.
So here is some background. About five years ago, I was in a mess. I was pretty lost, hopeless, emotionally broken. I won’t bore you with the details of that troublesome episode in my life, but needless to say I wasn’t a happy little chappy. That was roughly when this song started, originally me and my acoustic guitar, noodling around some chords I liked the sound of, and fumbling for some lyrics I hoped would tell the story of how I was feeling. In its original form, the song was called It Just Feels Wrong. It was about how nothing was going my way. It was sad, depressing, reflective of my mood at the time. But I liked it as a composition. and I thought others might empathise.
After recording a light demo of my vocal against an acoustic guitar, I decided to beef it up in Logic Pro. If you didn’t know, I love producing music. Doing so in Logic is a great escape for me, and was exactly what I needed at the time. Logic was relatively new to me then, so it was therapeutic and took my mind of all the other shit that was getting me down. The song grew a little. I added an electric piano part, some weird drums, bass, an electric guitar part, and recorded the vocals with a heap of horrible reverb. But it didn’t sit right for some reason. I always preferred the acoustic version, and so I left it again, this time for a long time.
Between then and now, my life has turned around. I’ve fallen in love with the most wonderful woman imaginable, been on some fantastic journeys with her, and basically been reborn in a sense because of the inspiration she’s given me. About a month ago, I was mucking about with some old stubs and stems in Logic when I stumbled across It Just Feels Wrong again. It suddenly dawned on me that the title was perfect. It did feel wrong. It was wrong. It was self-indulgent, and essentially a musical moan. That’s precisely why it didn’t work for me. So I started on the lyrics again. Within 24 hours I’d rewritten it, but I’d only changed a few words. I basically turned all the negative sentiment into positive phrases. The music stayed the same initially, but the lyrics had gone from how awful everything was to how I was able to turn everything around. The words are below if you’re interested. With new lyrics came a new approach to the instrumentation, with the original acoustic back in there, strings parts added, live-sounding drums as opposed to electronic ones, and a fuller sound all around. The song builds from a quiet, reflective first verse to a bold middle section that represents me working out where the good place is, and running harder than I’ve ever run to get there.
The song has been a journey that reflects my life over the past half-decade, and I couldn’t be happier with it … except maybe the slightly ropey vocals in the first verse. (Believe me, I recorded that about 100 times, but I’ll fix it some day.) Best of all, I managed to get the sound of the person that inspired this turnaround on the record, too. Jacalin, that wonderful woman I mentioned earlier, performs the backing vocals, and quite beautifully so.
So that’s it. I hope you like the track. I hope it can serve as a helping hand for anyone out there struggling. Just look for little twinkles of light in whatever dark tunnel or place you might be in. If you walk towards them, they get bigger, and when you’re up really close, you’ll realise you can walk straight through them to the brightness outside. It’s proof, for me at least, that even in the negatives, there are positives, and once you figure out what they are, like I did with the lyrics, it only takes a few small changes to create huge positives.
Let’s Walk A While (lyrics by Toby Forage)
The certainty I had was all but gone
But somewhere in me feint hope lingered on
Whatever I did wrong I don’t recall
I just remember feeling nothing at all
But now this seems so far from me
There’s so much more for me to see
My heart could burst
It took so long for me to understand
Until you came along and took my hand
When this began it all seemed so aligned
You helped me push that painful world behind
You only wanted me to see
How good life is when you start to breathe
You let me draw you close to me
So I could set my demons free
There is no darkness left for me to find
The clarity of us now fills my mind
A torch has lit my heart, it’s warm outside
So take my hand again, let’s walk a while
Let’s talk a while