Sailing On

Cover art for 'Sailing On' by Well Grounded, a modern reggae song about grief and hope

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‘Sailing On’ is a modern reggae song about grief and hope. It is the first single that I released as Well Grounded, though I originally wrote and performed it some 20 years ago. The song is about the sense that there is something broken in this world and/or in us. Perhaps it was always this way, or perhaps it is the modern world. If you’ve ever had the sense that you’re alone in a crowd, you know what I’m talking about. Likewise, I’m singing about the feeling of being trapped that this physical realm can often bring.

On the other hand, the song is a call and reminder to myself to not just sit down and accept things as they are, nor to wallow in grief. Despite the pain of our experience, we still have a choice. We can choose to what extent we let it define us. I’ll admit that the idea of suicide as a form of escape or rebellion was a theme when I first wrote the song. I liked this idea: it was ‘dangerous’, poetic, and (I thought) authentic. I’m channeling a bit of the great Dylan Thomas here.

It seems the world is just a prison bus
the captives is all us, and now it starts to rust
The very seats to which we are bound to
are starting to fall through, so all them friends fight and argue

And even though we’re now on rocky road
we can still love our home, ‘cause it’s both ugly and beautiful
Now, at this intersection we do idle, to stop and plan a while
then we’ll be rolling on

Again, the tone of the original song was mournful with no resolution for the listener. In the process of recording it again (after being away from music for some 10 years), I realized that I had changed. My outlook was not as negative (‘realistic’, as I like to think of it). I had done a considerable amount of growing and healing since I had walked away from music.

We gotta smile in spite of pain
we’re rolling on beyond the veil
I’m feeling hope if anything
I’m sailing on to brighter days

So, I added an outro to the song that provides a glimpse of hope. Instead of simply moving on from a broken world, we are sailing on to a brighter destination. It is up to the listener to decide what exactly is the nature of that destination. Is it in this world, or the next? Can we overcome our solitude and make a better world? Or, do we have to look forward to a better reality after this one? I that if you’ve ever sat with any of these thoughts and questions that you find some grounding in this reggae song about grief and hope.

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Lyrics

It seems the world is just a prison bus
the captives is all us, and now it starts to rust
The very seats to which we are bound to
are starting to fall through, so all them friends fight and argue

And even though we’re now on rocky road
we can still love our home, ‘cause it’s both ugly and beautiful
Now, at this intersection we do idle, to stop and plan a while
then we’ll be rolling on

Then we’ll be rolling on

It seems the world is just a pirate ship
you see we’re set adrift, and all the sails is ripped
The very deck to which we are bound to
is starting to rot through, so all them souls drown or call on you

And now the boom swings strong, from side to side
up rages, you, the tide, to swallow our foolish pride
‘Nuff little children have fallen overboard, I cry out to you, lord
so I’ll be sailing on

So I’ll be sailing on

Don’t try to hide or hesitate
yeah, you can cry or celebrate
‘cause what’s inside is everything
I’ll be outside, it’s time to leave

We gotta smile in spite of pain
we’re rolling on beyond the veil
I’m feeling hope if anything
I’m sailing on to brighter days

Additional Metadata
Music by: Justin Daniel Quinn
Lyrics by: Justin Daniel Quinn
Contains explicit lyrics?: no
Record label: Just Don’t Quit Music
Publisher: Well Grounded
Barcode: 198015980568
ISRC: QZXL82300001

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