The Songs That Save Us

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset On Sunday night, I saw one of my favorite bands play in a small bar in Philly.

The band's name? Paper Route.

The show? Blew my mind. (I can't say enough about it, really, so I'll just say this--go listen to them, and if you get the chance, see them live. They do it right.)

I was only a few feet from the stage with a couple of good friends by my side. There's something special that happens when you get to stand in front of a band you've listened to for hours and hours and hear the notes come directly from their fingers and mouths. And when it's so loud it rattles your organs, even better.

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That night, as I hoped they would, they played a song that means a lot to me--it's called "Better Life."

In dark times, there are certain songs that save us. Do you know what I mean? There are songs, even whole albums, that speak to us and heal us.

"Better Life" is one of those songs. The Peace of Wild Things is one of those albums.

Through some beautiful stroke of grace, Paper Route intersected my life at just the right time. I'll forever have a deep appreciation for and connection to the band, the album, and that particular song. It came to me in the toughest season I'd ever had and said, "A better life is waiting."

It saved me. It gave me hope when I had little hope. It brought me light when I hadn't seen light for a long time.

I'm sure we all have some songs like this. It's what I love about song--it takes the power of music, combines it with the power of poetry, and creates something with limitless potential to move people. It's been done for who knows how many thousands of years, and it never gets old.

Just before he began the song, the lead singer, J.T., said, "I believe the words of this song today even more than when we first wrote it."

Me too, guys. Me too.

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Better Life

All this trouble that I know Every swing I take and stone I throw All the bridges that I've burnt All the new ways that I hurt

You gave up and I lost track When you love someone who don't love back It don't matter who's at fault Nothing matters now at all

I might have said too much I might have said too much I won't forget your touch I'm saying too much

A better life is waiting...

And what is done is done Piece together what's been broken Can you ever give up someone? A better life, a better life is waiting

All this fire in my veins From a heart that's trapped in my rib cage Burning through my fingertips Burning everything I kiss

All the memories that you live in Are just another door that I'm closing In a hall that's infinite But at least I can admit

I might have said too much I might have said too much I won't forget your touch I'm saying too much

A better life is waiting...

And what is done is done Piece together what's been broken Can you ever give up someone? A better life, a better life is waiting

Oh, I know I'm saying too much