Concert Catharsis: Part 2-The Story of "Newport"

I attended the Newport Folk Festival for the first time last summer, with the intent of catching Hozier's set.   When I arrived, I quickly realized that this festival was like no other.  Amongst seas of people and crowds, there was this overwhelming sense of community and peacefulness--a contentedness that transcended the chaotic nature of typical music festivals. That feeling hit me right away, and as I began watching some of the other acts perform, my typical "this is what I should be doing with my life" reaction began to kick in.  I was probably in the 4th row for Hozier's set, and as soon as he played the first notes on his guitar, my heart dropped.  I was almost in tears.  

There is something about his music that has always resonated deeply with me, and I had seen him live before, but this was different. I felt like I had reconnected with a part of myself that I had ignored for years.  I was actually crying at one point during the set--mostly tears of happiness but I also was quite frightened. I had this cathartic realization that I had to try to pursue music in order to feel satisfied with my life, and so that I could be my best, creative, authentic self.  I knew that pursuing music meant that I needed to make a lot of changes in my personal life--one of which meant stepping down to part time at my full-time job as a therapist so that I could give myself the time and space to create. 

Maybe it was the beautiful atmosphere of the festival.  Or maybe it was just the timing of it all, as I had already begun rehearsing songs with my band at that point, and this "catharsis" just solidified my purpose for me.  I could probably write a book about my experience at this festival, and think of all the reasons why the stars aligned the way they did to help propel me into changing my life.  But instead, I channeled all of that energy into a song that I wrote just a few days after the festival. The lyrics to "Newport" spilled out of me, like a volcano that could no longer be kept at bay.  I think it took me a total of 20 minutes to write the song start to finish, and I barely made any revisions.  But I will tell you, that the very first line of the song, were the exact words that Hozier spoke during his set, which ended up inspiring the whole metaphor for the song. I did leave my heart at the festival that night, as I have at many concerts before, but this time, I knew there was no other choice but to get it back. 


"Newport"-Lyrics

Left my heart in Newport / left my soul there too / you sang out your somber sounds / and I cried alongside you

Oh how I felt you / oh how I crave you / I gotta get back to you

There's a crowd around me / but I know they're not the same / They don't get you like I do / The same dark blood runs in our veins

Oh how I felt you / oh how I crave you / I gotta get back to you

Woke up to the sound of / the love I've long ignored / Dizzy and feeling less grounded / my heart aches to do what should have been done before

Oh how I felt you / oh how I crave you / I gotta get back you

The most familiar stranger / Your voice it feels like my own / But when the show is over / leaving feels like losing everything I ever wanted to become / all I ever wanted to become

My heart sleeps well in Newport / My soul, it found its resting place / Please take me back to Newport / 'cause I can't live anymore loveless lifeless days

I gotta get back to you
 

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