Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Sew Me Up

I remember the first time I had the idea for this song. One of my sisters is three years older than me. We spent my first year of high school together with her as a senior. We were very close that year. In my memory, we did nearly everything together. She ushered me into my first years of performing. We sang the national anthem together at football and basketball games and she pushed me to perform on my own. In spite of the clear terror in my voice, below is a video of our performance at the spring 2008 talent show.

Winning this talent show and my sister’s continued encouragement pushed me into the next phase of my performing experience. I knew that I was going to have to participate in the next talent show without her and I remember feeling the expectation to live up to my sister’s legacy. I had dozens of poems (or songs in my mind) but I had no way to play music. Despite using karaoke music for my first talent show, I found midi music to be cheesy and was not willing to perform alone using such forms of backup. Thankfully I had some time to figure out my strategy.

Fortunately, I had another formative experience. One with my mom. My parents fell in love with the band Salamander Crossing after they heard them perform on NPR, specifically their rendition of the Tennyson poem Crossing The Bar. My mom wanted me to perform the song. I remember her sitting with me on our blue couch in the great room with the lyrics printed on a sheet of paper and my mom’s large Yamaha guitar she had since she was fifteen years old. I had never seen my mom play guitar. I think I thought the guitar in my parents room was just decoration.

And then she began to play.

I didn’t know that strings could be picked in such a way. She was so relaxed. Like an adult who swings her leg over the first bike seat she has ridden since childhood. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed. One feels the gears catch the wheels take you on a journey. I realized that if my mom could go thirty-five years without playing the guitar and still play this good, I could learn too.

I became obsessed with learning to play. I never realized how many songs used the same chords over and over. C then G then A minor then E. I could do that. I remember one of the first songs I played was Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

There is a final memory that solidifies what went into making my first song. As ashamed as I am to say this, I loved the Twilight books. In my defense, I did try rereading the first Twilight book recently out of curiosity and actually was not able to finish it. It makes me feel better about myself. That aside, at the time, my closest friends would tell you: I was obsessed. If that were not enough, the books were being adapted to film and it would not be hyperbolic to say that I was consumed with learning as much about Twilight as possible.

One afternoon, I read about Twilight fans who wanted a fan-made song to be a part of the movie. Based on the themes of the song and what my song ended up being about, my guess is they were making the second film, New Moon. After listening to the song, I thought it was beautiful. More than that though, I had this sudden “Eureka” moment where I thought to myself, I could do that. I could use the story of Twilight to inspire a song. I ran up to my room… and blacked out. I say that because I have very little memory of actually writing the song.

The truth is most times I am surprised how easily a song forms. I know that what became Sew Me Up developed quickly and easily. Instead, what I can speak to is what inspired the lyrics and what I think about the song after ten plus years.

Below is a video of the performance from my sophomore talent show in 2009 with my extremely talented friend Kate and my mom’s childhood guitar.

One of my favorite memories is telling my sister the song was based on New Moon and her telling me to Never share that information with anyone. Like any good sister would instruct. Preserve your dignity. However, I am lenient on myself considering I was fifteen or sixteen years old at the time. Not to mention all the famous artists who have written songs for the series such as Paramore, Christina Perry, Metric, Sleeping At Last, Death Cab for Cutie. I’m in good company I guess.

THE BREAKDOWN

I'll fake 'til I feel
If you'll believe me
Make it real if
You might heal me

Can you sew me up
Undone
Undone

I want to jump
But I don't wanna break
Just a little bit farther
He says you've gotta be brave

I am undone
I am undone

You whisper sweet nothings
In my ear
And tell me it's ok
When you're not here

I am undone
I am undone
I am undone
I am undone

Would you let my heart crumble
Would you let my heart crumble
Forget the past
Come back
So I can come home

Don't wait forever
'Cause I don't have forever
But with you I do

I am undone
I am undone
I am undone
I am undone
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So breaking down this song. I have pictures in my head. I am not sure I have a single poem or song where I do not know what the weather is for the song. Sew Me Up is all cloudy skies, misty rain, and cliffs being beaten with heavy water. Much like the pacific northwest… hmmm.

The song is ambiguous enough that I do not think anyone reading the lyrics would think much of it, but in my mind, the story of the song is very specific. In order to actually know what is going on, you would have to have read the Twilight series. A lot of people have, so at least there’s that.

While I am happy with most of the stanzas themselves, one element of this song has always bothered me. This is, half the song is Bella Swan (the protagonist in Twilight) speaking to Jacob Black (the ware wolf love interest) and the second half of the song is Bella speaking to Edward Cullen (the vampire love interest). When I put it like that, there does not seem to be anything explicitly wrong with the choice, but there is no clear connection between the two conversations and therefore the lines actually conflict with one another.

Cover photo taken by Sabrina Siegers. Visit her site at https://thesiegersphotovideo.com/

One thought on “Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

  1. 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

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