Birds of Relocation – Track 8: Different, Separate Lives

Birds of Relocation – Track 8: Different, Separate Lives

I started writing this song several years ago while I was recording Scarce (2006). I had the melody and the first lines “We don’t got money, we don’t need fame, but we all want something like it anyway,” but that was all I could muster at the time. I was never able to figure out what to do with it or where to go from there. Clinging to that melody over the following years, I worked it into shape for Birds of Relocation, determined to make something of this little poppery song. This, in my estimation, is a song about community. As Kathleen Norris says in her most excellent book, Dakota, “Community is being together while leaving each other alone.”

“Different, Separate Lives”

Don’t got money, we don’t need fame
But we all want something like it anyway
Power is a monster with a charlatan smile
We all lead different, separate lives
We all lead different, separate lives

Leave your bones in the desert, your soul in the sand
We’re a thousand-piece puzzle scattered into the wind
Like barrier islands, distant and alone
The world is so much cleaner when it’s less that you know
The world is so much better when it’s less that you know

We are different branches of the same vine
Living out our different, separate lives

A blaze on the levee, a vessel out at sea
One guides the other safely into the lee
If all men are islands, then each of us is bound
To the crooked, deep depths of the lost and the found
To the infinite depths until we’re all found out

We are different branches of the same vine
Living out our different, separate lives
Living out our different, separate lives
We are different branches of the same vine
Living out our different, separate lives