Daily Song Study

Rosie Thomas – Much Farther To Go

In songs on December 5, 2011 at 11:08 am

This one’s a bit personal.

When I returned to Texas in 2006 after 4 years in NYC, there was a significant amount of culture shock. It seems strange to say so, given that I was born and raised here, but I had spent so much time and energy adjusting to that new reality that it was rather jarring to be taken back to the slower pace and open space. That came at the same time as the shock of new parenthood and some health issues I hadn’t yet put a name to, so 2006 was kind of a tough year for me in many respects.

However, the following year I discovered an album by Rosie Thomas called These Friends of Mine, which evoked so much imagery of things I had experienced in the city, and struck just the right note between sadness, hope, and rebirth. This tune in particular grabbed me, not just because of its delicate touch and lush arrangement, but also because of the verse about Brooklyn Heights, where I had some of my most memorable experiences.

The album’s story also played into my mood at the time. Thomas had been signed to a major label for many years, and was being forced to churn out formulaic tunes that went against her sense of dynamics. Upon splitting with the label, she holed up in a friend’s apartment and made this record, giving it a sense of intimacy and relief.

Sometimes a song or album is tied so tightly to an experience that it cannot be written about without going into the circumstances surrounding the listener at the time it was first heard. That can occasionally be a bad thing, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. Life and music are meant to mix together, consequences be damned.

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