I wrote this song for a songwriting class I took at BYU. The challenge was to write in the “AABA” format. This has been a pretty popular format over the years (“Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, The Beatles’ “Yesterday”) but has become less popular as more emphasis has been placed on having a catchy chorus. With AABA, there isn’t really a chorus; just a verse (which contains the main hook) and a bridge (to take the listener in a different direction). The other feature is using the song title in the first or last lines of the verse (or “A” section). I had gotten so used to writing the other way (verse-chorus-verse-chorus) that I wasn’t sure I could pull it off but I think this turned out to be one of my better songs.
Lyrically, the song in about finding direction in your life. In the first verse, the narrator talks about growing up and feeling restless about his surroundings. In the second verse, we find that narrator escaping by driving on dark highway. He’s not really sure where he is heading and has his car breakdown in the process. In the bridge, he admits defeat, realizing that he needs the help of others to make it in life. In the third verse, after finally getting his act together, he has to say goodbye to his loved one who is now the one drifting out of his life. Irony.
I wrote this song around 2004 while I was a missionary in New York City. With the large buildings and the endless sea of people, the experience of living in Manhattan made me feel a lot smaller (despite being 6’4″). I was also inspired by scenes from the movie “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids,” which was one of my childhood favorites.
The musical direction is something of a cross between Death Cab For Cutie’s Transatlanticism and Ben Folds Five. Like Ben Gibbard’s songwriting, I focused on vivid details and imagery with an underlining universal message. The theme behind the lyrics is feeling out of place and overwhelmed yet hopeful for the future and that things will work out.
This song was written just prior to the birth of my first child, Zoe. At the time, I was at somewhat of a crossroads in my life. I had recently graduated from college but had been unable to find a job outside of the meager income I made from running Muse Music. I was studying to take the GMAT so I could apply to grad school and have a better career. I was looking forward to some of the comforts that come from having a stable income, such as owning a house. I also thought about how many of my friends were reluctant to start families and were kind of drifting with the direction of their life.
Although I was nervous and apprehensive about the future, I also had this feeling that everything was going to work out. My life would never be the same but I was excited about this next chapter.