Safe Place (single)

by Pale Houses

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1.
05:53
2.

about

I began writing this song after a text conversation with my friend Kyle Andrews about our shared sadness and frustration at all the shootings and apathy about gun control in the USA. I felt like it was a crisis that somehow wasn't emotionally impacting people enough, and both of us were at a loss for what to do. The only thing I really know how to do is write songs, so I knew I needed to try to come up with something if for no other reason than to express my sadness and angst about everything. In our conversation, Kyle almost casually mentioned the phrase "I thought this was a safe place", and that sort of gathered and focused everything in my mind. It said pretty much everything we were thinking in seven little words.

Within a day or two, I had written a little vignette consisting of what is now verse three and a chorus. I thought that little thing was the song. I was done. Kyle heard it, liked it, but thought that the concept of the song shouldn't be limited to its rather narrow scope. He gave me an idea or two, and a couple days later, I had verse two.

I sent the song to my friend and collaborator Patrick Damphier who had produced the debut Pale Houses EP a couple years back. I asked if he wanted to work on it. Somewhat to my surprise, he did. However, he too felt like the song could delve deeper still. And so we emailed ideas back and forth until we had written what later would become verse one.

It should be stated that I'm not much of a co-writer. What I mean by that is that I tend to view songwriting as something personal and downright precious/fragile. I don't usually (never?) want people meddling in that process. My favorite songwriters tend to have a singular voice and message, and I prefer it that way. I hate the whole image of five people in a writing studio trying to find the most manipulative lowest common denominator. That's not what happened here. These are good friends who are great musicians and writers and who latched on to the concept of the song from the beginning and finishing it became a labor of love.

It's sort of a departure for all of us, but I really hope you enjoy what we made.

credits

released March 18, 2016

music by Aaron Robinson
lyrics by Aaron Robinson, Patrick Damphier, and Kyle Andrews

Pale Houses (this time) is:
Aaron Robinson - vocals, guitar

featuring:
Patrick Damphier - drums, percussion, synths, etc.
Russ Pahl - pedal steel

produced by Patrick Damphier
recorded, mixed, and mastered by Patrick Damphier at Club Roar, Nashville, TN, Winter 2016
cover image by Elizabeth Williams

special thanks to the other members of Pale Houses (Ryan Rayborn, Josh Hood, & Aaron Yung) for letting me explore this song and release it under the Pale Houses moniker.

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Track Name: Safe Place
well I made it back home and
this time it’s for good
even found a regular job in my old neighborhood
I stayed a week with my dad til I
found a place of my own
bought a couch and a new TV
and a bed where I’ll sleep alone

late after dark, I look up to the sky
the same stars that covered the desert at night
a loop of destruction, it plays on and on
a shell of so-called hero long gone

I thought this was a safe place
no wait, I didn’t think at all
why should I have had to
and what would I have thought
oh how I long to be
back home with my family
I thought this was a safe place

I can’t believe this is happening, he
said he’d see me tonight
said he read my work and it’s great
he thinks my star’ll burn bright
met at a private room in the
hotel casino bar
talked about myself over drinks
he just listened and smoked cigars

I followed him up to a suite in the sky
I had one more cocktail and rested my eyes
I woke to the sun piercing cracks in the blinds
half naked, alone, memory burned from my mind

I thought this was a safe place
no wait, I didn’t think at all
why should I have had to
and what would I have thought
someone believes in me
after years of chasing down this dream
I thought this was a safe place
I thought this was a safe place

oh what a beautiful weekend to
put the school year behind us
we piled into your dad’s new car
I can’t believe he let you drive it
we’ll get some food and some ice cream
at the new place by the lake
it was packed but we laughed for an hour
and man it was worth the wait

and just as the sun set
behind the distant trees
a kid walked through a side door
that we hadn’t seen
he pulled out a gun and he
started to fire
and that’s how my friend and my
summer would die

I thought this was a safe place
no wait, I didn’t think at all
why should I have had to
and what would I have thought
let’s go celebrate
the summer of our junior year
I thought this was a safe place
I thought this was a safe place
I thought this was a safe place
Track Name: Safe Place (acoustic)
well I made it back home and
this time it’s for good
even found a regular job in my old neighborhood
I stayed a week with my dad til I
found a place of my own
bought a couch and a new TV
and a bed where I’ll sleep alone

late after dark, I look up to the sky
the same stars that covered the desert at night
a loop of destruction, it plays on and on
a shell of so-called hero long gone

I thought this was a safe place
no wait, I didn’t think at all
why should I have had to
and what would I have thought
oh how I long to be
back home with my family
I thought this was a safe place

I can’t believe this is happening, he
said he’d see me tonight
said he read my work and it’s great
he thinks my star’ll burn bright
met at a private room in the
hotel casino bar
talked about myself over drinks
he just listened and smoked cigars

I followed him up to a suite in the sky
I had one more cocktail and rested my eyes
I woke to the sun piercing cracks in the blinds
half naked, alone, memory burned from my mind

I thought this was a safe place
no wait, I didn’t think at all
why should I have had to
and what would I have thought
someone believes in me
after years of chasing down this dream
I thought this was a safe place
I thought this was a safe place

oh what a beautiful weekend to
put the school year behind us
we piled into your dad’s new car
I can’t believe he let you drive it
we’ll get some food and some ice cream
at the new place by the lake
it was packed but we laughed for an hour
and man it was worth the wait

and just as the sun set
behind the distant trees
a kid walked through a side door
that we hadn’t seen
he pulled out a gun and he
started to fire
and that’s how my friend and my
summer would die

I thought this was a safe place
no wait, I didn’t think at all
why should I have had to
and what would I have thought
let’s go celebrate
the summer of our junior year
I thought this was a safe place
I thought this was a safe place
I thought this was a safe place