What Shall We Sing

04:16
Andy Livingston
2011
Andy Livingston

Story

I had gone to a lot of trouble of building my wall. I still keep myself fairly guarded, but this guy found his way in. From the moment I saw him, met him, and spoke with him, I had to tell myself, “You know how this is going to end, don’t you?” And I did. But that didn’t stop me. Yes, I am aware of what the rules are, and I’ve played this game before, and so, in some ways, I am okay with how this is going to end. At least I am aware of it. My problem is this: I fall for the wrong people. By wrong, I mean straight. I wonder sometimes if I am intentionally sabotaging myself by developing feelings for people who will never be able to reciprocate them. Perhaps there are issues of abandonment from my past (the whole “everyone just leaves anyway” mentality), and so I love people who will never be able to love me back, thus keeping me safe from actually having to commit to something or someone. It’s a twisted defense, really. I could go into a LOT of psycho-babble about why I do what I do, but that doesn’t enter this song as much as he does. He’s the fourth. I’ve never told anyone that I feel this way about them. What would that help? He would just feel awkward, and potentially would not want to be my friend, and, besides, it wouldn’t change his mind. As great as I am, I am not changing any boy’s mind. 

At first I thought that it was my voice saying, "Or would you settle for a brother?" but now I think there's a second person here (him) saying, "I'm sorry I can't love you, but I could still be on your side." I hope that's how it would go if I were to sit him down and say, "Look, this is what's going on. Every time I'm around you I have to fight the urge to hold your hand. You make me ridiculously happy, and I wish I were enough for you." This is one of the beautiful things about writing songs. I get to say whatever I want to whomever I want, and they have no idea I am speaking to them. Or does he know? Even still...it would be nice to be able to say the words, and nicer yet to hear them back.

 “We could have been an ‘us,’ you know…”

Lyrics

Here we go again
Pardon my defense
Even though I had my wall
you somehow still slipped in
 
Same thing as before
you said, “The choice is yours:
to be saved or to be loved –
which do you want more?”
 
Or, would you settle for a brother
notwithstanding all my thorns, and
if I sing the song we used to sing
would you still sing along?
 
Oh, what shall we sing…
 
Steady as I go
I am getting old
and I misplaced the mirror that said
I was beautiful
 
now, stained with regret,
who would hold my hand
baggage claim called me to say
they haven’t found him yet
 
I’ve come to terms with the delusion
that I could change your mind somehow
Love, We could have been,
but that was then
I hope you’re happy now

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