I Will Be There – “Not Yours” – Part 7 of 10

New Album, "I Will Be There" Available on Randm Records!

New Album, “I Will Be There” Available on Randm Records!

The Backstory
I’m about to sound like a crotchety and bitter old man…

For those of you who don’t know the story, I guess you need to know the backstory- I fell in love with a girl at a show. Like… Immediately. I saw her outside when I was playing at Queen Bee’s and I was, believe it or not, hanging out with my buddy, Seth Combs. I told him straight up, “I’m going to meet that girl.” And I sang my set, she came up to me after the show and I took her out the next night. During that time, I had started writing my “Song a day” and had planned on doing thirty days. I wrote a song called, “Stay” while she was sitting next to me on the couch, and I still remember her kissing me right after I finished writing the song… One of my most favorite moments.

She graduated from college and moved to Los Angeles. We talked every day and every night. After 5 months, I contemplated moving, and she and I decided that I should. I quit my job, got a temp job in LA and planned on easing into the move. Unfortunately the day that I got to LA, she stopped answering her phone. I tried to figure out what had happened, but figured that she had a problem with her phone. I finally talked to her roommate who gave me the couple of things of mine that she had and with an, “I’m sorry”. closed the gate on me…. One of my least favorite moments.

This song was written a few months after this story.

The Cowrite
I’ve sat on this song for about three years. It’s another one of those incredibly personal songs that I had the opportunity to share with another songwriter. Melissa Polinar is, and has been one of the most talented people I’ve ever met. Her latest album is one of my favorites, and I’d encourage you to give her a listen. (My personal favorite is, “See the Stars” a three-part harmony song with my friends Ernie Halter and Matt Cusson.)

I had tried to write with Melissa a few times, but scheduling was a problem. (She lives between Dallas and LA, and when you’re as good as she is, you get good shows…) 🙂 I had just finished moving to LA and gone through the worst and hardest, non-closure type of breakups I’ve ever experienced. When I told Melissa about it, she sympathized like an old friend would. I think of all the things I like about her, that’s my favorite- she has the ability to really care about you, even before she knows you. (Tied for second is her voice and songwriting!) The original version had a rad three part harmony the entire way through the song, but we scratched it in this new arrangement- (didn’t really work with the sound on the record.) I’m so into this version of it! I hope that you are too.

We sat down and wrote this song at the SESAC building in Los Angeles. It was exactly what I needed at the time. I had gained 50 pounds from the depression and lack of motivation and hadn’t written a good song in weeks. This song immediately kicked off a dozen songs that would end up being most of my last album, “Hope”. I had a disagreement with my last producer on this song, and so we ended up not using it. However, when my producer for the new record, Mike Butler heard it, he told me it was an immediate, “We have to record this song!” and when he told me that, I knew I wanted to work with him, immediately.

Melissa and I have never really talked about where the lines came from, but I can tell you my side of it. So here it goes:

Why does it seem so hard
Why is my heart a mess
Why is it difficult to breathe 

There were nights where I was literally so heartbroken, I couldn’t breathe. It blew my mind that someone that I had cared about, so much, that I would plan with her to move out of a city I loved and start over in LA, was absolutely crushing. I’ve never felt that bad, and I hope I don’t again.

When will I ever learn
When will this ever end
When will I finally be freed

More of the same. It felt like I couldn’t escape it, no matter what I tried.

I thought I was over you                 
But I guess you went and proved me wrong

Probably the worst part of being a writer, is the idea that my brain doesn’t shut off. When I sleep, I write. I can’t tell you how many times, even now, she’ll show up in my dreams, telling me that it was such a mistake, and that she wants me to come back. I’ve woken up in tears more time to count and it all comes rushing back when I finally get to hold her… then wake up and realize it was a dream, and I’m all alone. That’s got to be the single worst torture a heart can have.

(Chorus)        
Take me out of this prison
Break these bars and let me go 
Cause I’m not yours

Don’t make me drink from your poison
Baby, I’d rather be alone
Cause I’m not yours, Anymore

To me, the chorus is basically an affirmation that this is done. Similar to an exorcism, I am casting her out, and she is no longer allowed to haunt me.

How can I justify?
Another restless night?
Of dreaming dreams for you

(See above… sigh…)

Why haven’t I realized
After seeing through all your lies
That my dreams will not come true

(I guess I’m good at repeating myself, huh?)

I want to be over you
But I hear your song calling me back

Did I mention she was/is a singer? Her voice reminded me of Leanne Rimes. I don’t listen to her, anymore…ever. I also can’t watch Reese Witherspoon movies, and don’t even get me started on the show “Nashville”. I can’t see Hayden Panettiere and not think about this girl. So frustrating! We’re talking 4 years later? There’s definitely something wrong with my head.

(Chorus)

You have no power over me
Now I’m finally, fine on my own

Last chance- last affirmation. This is the final straw. One of the biggest bummers to me was when Melissa and I recorded this song on my Macbook, I completely missed these notes. I probably would have released the song lo-fi if I hadn’t. I love the desperation in the last notes of “own”. It just trails off- almost like throwing my feelings off of a cliff and watching them fade away. If it was that easy, I probably couldn’t write. But alas, I have to repeat the chorus again… even more pathetically so you understand that I am really hurting… Ha!

(Chorus)

The End
Wow… after re-reading this post, that was pretty personal. I hope you guys don’t feel bad for me or hold it against me. I believe life is supposed to be the highs and the lows. That’s what makes it beautiful. If you always have okay to good times, you don’t experience everything in it’s full color. If you always have bad times, you’ll be a bitter old man. I may still end up as one, but not because of her- because I choose to be. I’m working on it. Leave me alone. And get off my lawn.

Not Yours
©2011
Written by Josh Damigo and Melissa Polinar

Why does it seem so hard
Why is my heart a mess
Why is it difficult to breathe

When will I ever learn
When will this ever end
When will I finally be freed

I thought I was over you
But I guess you went and proved me wrong

(Chorus)
Take me out of this prison
Break these bars and let me go
Cause I’m not yours

Don’t make me drink from your poison
Baby, I’d rather be alone
Cause I’m not yours, Anymore

How can I justify?
Another restless night?
Of dreaming dreams for you
Why haven’t I realized
After seeing through all your lies
That my dreams will not come true

I want to be over you
But I hear your song calling me back

(Chorus)

You have no power over me
Now I’m finally, fine on my own

(Chorus)

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About Josh Damigo

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his homemade EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident, Damigo retreated inward, and he ended up writing what would ultimately become his breakout debut, Raw. The album was true to its name and people noticed - Josh picked up two San Diego Music Awards for “Best Acoustic” and “Best Local Recording,” opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, Eric Hutchinson, and Matt Nathanson, and had enough money and momentum to tour the country a few times over. A few years after Raw, there was his third release, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Damigo spent much of year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his latest album, "Just Give Me a Call", available now, on Randm Records. From the up-tempo single, “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all.
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One Response to I Will Be There – “Not Yours” – Part 7 of 10

  1. One of my favourite songs on the album! Love it!

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