© 2008 Matthew Moran
The story behind the song
A few weeks after my divorce in 2008, I was driving back to California to visit some friends and family after playing music in Colorado and Utah.
It was in the middle of what would be a 2+ year struggle with depression - something I'd never experienced before or since (thankfully).
Driving alone through the desert, feeling a loss of family and a brutal self-reflection that bordered on the wrong side of self-loathing, I wrote Promised Land.
The song was only played a couple times at the now defunct, Cave Creek Coffee Company (C4).
I was going through my catalog recently and happened upon a recording of the song from one of those evenings. Too much reverb in the mix and the arrangement is too long but it sounded pretty good. Michael Assad, the house guitarist for almost everything in Cave Creek, sounds amazing. Maybe one day I'll clean that recording up a bit and post it.
Debbie heard it and said, "YOU NEED TO RECORD THIS!"
She didn't shout it but she was insistent. She's been reminding me with the same insistence almost daily - or multiple times a day.
Today, I laid down a scratch track and some rough vocals. I will start building the recording over the next two week as part of a commitment to release more fully produced music.
This image is the chorus.
Promised Land: full lyrics
Mama mama, can you still hold this child
Seems the path I’ve taken has grown so wild
From those dime store girls with their dime store smiles
To their dime store love and their dime store wiles
I'd pay them every dime I own if dimes could by redemption
But I find that I've just sold my soul too many times to mention
Thought I’d lead my tribe to the promised land
But I smote the stone and was turned back again
Now can I find my dreams through my many sins
Cuz’ I see everything I’m not
Everything I'm not
Oh I see, everything I'm not
In who I am
People people, can you help me find my way
Through this self-made wilderness that frightens me today
Through these open doors with their empty promises
To those closed off hearts that they’ve been shut against
I’d gladly open up my heart if the request were spoken
Open it to every risk and let my heart be broken
I’m down on my knees but I’m not praying. No no no
I’m just digging deep a grave of my own making.. yeah yeah yeah yeah