Growing up, I used to love watching VH1’s Behind the Music. The songs by my favorite artists – Tori Amos, Paul Simon, Loreena McKennitt, Sarah McLachlan – are wonderful by themselves, but knowing the stories behind them makes them even more special to me.
Because I tend to write cryptic lyrics, I thought you might want to learn a little more about the stories behind each song. I’ve also included the lyrics, because sometimes you can’t understand what the hell I’m singing, LOL! (Like, did CCR sing “There’s a bad moon on the rise” or was it “There’s a bathroom on the right”? Two very different messages!)
“Amber” (Copyright 2013)
“Amber” came to me on an airplane in April 2013. I was headed back to the East Coast US after my tour on Oahu in Hawaii, and I was pondering a huge life choice: give up everything and move to New Zealand, or stay in the States. Eventually, and somewhat last minute, I decided to move. The decision was one of the most heart-wrenching and difficult ones I’ve ever had to make. The sacrifices that go along with such a huge change affected me for years. I don’t subscribe to the “No regrets” mantra that some do; to me, that concept requires a lack of conscience. Regret runs deep in me over my decision. But so do solace and joy.
Amber is the color of the sunset in the west.
Amber is the color of the pain inside my chest.
And Amber is the color of your eyes in the light.
All I see is Amber when I close my eyes at night.
Amber is the rock inside my guilty heart.
Amber is the sunshine inside my lonely dark.
When all the crystals of the sea have finally been won,
The only stone I leave unturned in the amber one back home.
Amber is the color of the fire inside my soul.
Amber is the taste of my tears as I go.
And Amber is the color of the rolling waves of grain.
Amber is my happiness when I come home again.
Yes Amber is my happiness when I come home again.
“Killers” which I co-wrote and co-composed with Oahu-based trip hop producer Kamu, is a spiritual tribal call for women’s physical right to control their own fertility and their own reproductive health. The song, though not heavily lyrical, is my push-back against the little-known issue of Catholic hospitals exercising a “religious directive” to deny basic care to women in need of life-saving reproductive procedures, resulting in unnecessary physical and emotional pain, injury, and death. Due to mergers and acquisitions over the past 15 years, 14.5 percent of all acute care hospitals in the United States are now either owned by or affiliated with the Catholic church. Many are the only hospitals available for hundreds of miles in rural areas of the country. To hear real testimonials of women who suffered serious physical and emotional trauma while at a Catholic hospital, click here. Yes, this issue is an uncomfortable one. However, as a songwriter, my job is not only to entertain, but to also shed light on issues and share people’s stories and experiences.
My choice in your hands.
Your faith, my command.
Our souls, yours to damn
By the cross of faceless man.
Run from the killers.
“Accidental Angel” (Copyright 2017)
“Accidental Angel” came to me in the back of my campervan while I was attending Kiwiburn (New Zealand’s Burning Man) in January 2017. It was my first time at an event like this, and I was overwhelmed and inspired by the music and art installations, crazy outfits, fire dancing, and generosity and openness of the other burners. This song came pouring out of me the day after the Man burned to the ground. I really didn’t understand the lyrics until a few months later, when I discovered I was pregnant but then lost the baby at 11 weeks. The doctors rushed to stabilize my body and prevent me from going into shock. Looking back on it, the lyrics seem all too premonitory.
Make something out of nothing
Just to burn it all down.
Insert yourself into it just to pull out.
I want to stay inside it.
I want to cut the rope and let it all go.
But how can I plant it
When I just refuse to let it grow?
My accidental angel, you pulled me out of hell
Into the sky.
I changed the locks on my heart
Just to make you break in.
Divide the lies between us to share in the sin.
You saw that I was empty
So you climbed inside to color my walls.
But now that I’ve imploded
Here’s the technicolor rubble of your love.
I stand naked by the fire and howl at the flames
While you calculate your numbers
In their Ponzi scheme.
We’ve grown so much together
That our fates our intertwined.
But will there come a day when
We have coiled so tight we begin to unwind?
Get these three songs FREE at www.MelCoxMusic.com.