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about

This song is a quick, toe-tapping song about my experience in a very challenging and difficult job that I did on an interim basis. To keep myself grounded, I kept a card in my computer case with four words on it, which I read and repeated to myself at least once a day when I needed it; you’ll see them partially reflected in the chorus: clear, confident, dispassionate, and detached. The song has a somewhat odd combination of light and boppy with a kind of breathless striving … like hanging on for dear life … even as you know you’re in the right place.

I was startled when Kenny, my producer, went full Nashville on this one … and I LOVE it. Having grown up in Indiana and Kentucky, the grinding southern rock reflected in the bridge is in my blood despite my California home. OMG those guitars!!!!!

lyrics

Don’t have to like it to be grateful for it
No one can blame if you choose to have grit
No harm complaining if you get over it
Commit

Gotta be clear, Gotta be calm
Gotta dump fear, Gotta hold on
Gotta be fierce, Gotta be strong
Gotta stay weird, Gotta move on

Got what I prayed for and the tears overflowed
Another debt was paid that only I owed
Filled up with gratitude to carry the load
Bestowed

Gotta be clear, Gotta be calm
Gotta dump fear, Gotta hold on
Gotta be fierce, Gotta be strong
Gotta stay weird, Gotta move on

Losing all perspective, lie awake at night
But I’ll learn, I’ll learn
Twisted in my bedclothes, putting up a fight
But I’ll learn, I’ll learn

To live my life right is to have no regret
Some paths unchosen are not closed to me yet
As long as love compels me I won’t forget
Not yet

Gotta be clear, Gotta be calm
Gotta dump fear, Gotta hold on
Gotta be fierce, Gotta be strong
Gotta stay weird, Gotta move on
Hold on

Words & Music © 2018 Martha Groves Perry

credits

from These Hands, released March 1, 2020
In addition to songwriting, lead vocals, and writing the harmony vocals, I played acoustic guitar and performed backing vocals on this song. Kenny Schick, my producer, also sang backing vocals and played or programmed all of the other instruments. Kenny recorded his parts at Basement3Productions in Nashville, TN, and I recorded my acoustic guitar and vocal parts in April 2019 with Steven Glaze at ToneFreq Studio in San Jose, California.

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Martha Groves Perry San Francisco, California

Martha Groves Perry is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her music is straightforward, compelling, and sometimes edgy with strong blues and southern rock influences. Her lyrics reflect the fearless truth-telling and unbothered amusement of a seasoned, female point of view. Martha’s music has been described is a cross between Tom Waits, early Gwen Stefani, and the Indigo Girls. ... more

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