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  1. Don't

From the recording Demos

<p>It&rsquo;s a simple song, but deeply profound.&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Have you ever wanted something so much, that you can't even talk about it because it starts stirring up feelings in you?&nbsp; Feelings that won't be 'put back to sleep' easily if you wake them up?&nbsp; Feelings that you are working so hard to 'get over' that it feels like a full-time (emotional) job just to make it through the day?&nbsp; I'm talking about wanting something, or someone, so much that when it looks like it's not going to happen, when it's falling apart, when its breaking down, you go through a season of soul-searching depression and you start to question everything about your purpose and meaning in life?&nbsp; Have you ever felt that way?&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Yeah, that's where this song came from.&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Allow me a short preface before I tell you the story behind this song... Here's what I love about art and what I've found to be true and consistent in all my songwriting: what is deeply personal is also deeply universal.&nbsp; In other words, we all believe our deepest emotions are completely personal.&nbsp; We think to ourselves, "I am the only one feeling this way.&nbsp; No one else feels this way.&nbsp; I am totally alone here."&nbsp; But the truth is we are all feeling the exact same things, we just hide it from each other, for fear of being vulnerable.&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>You see, as a songwriter, I'm always trying to connect with a larger audience.&nbsp; I want to write songs that&nbsp;<em>everyone</em>&nbsp;can 'identify' with.&nbsp; So, a few years ago, I spent a season writing songs that I thought encompassed a larger demographic.&nbsp; It was an intellectual experiment and it backfired.&nbsp; The songs fell flat.&nbsp; No one really cared about them, including myself.&nbsp; They lacked the 'je ne sais quoi' that made them special.&nbsp; I would play them at a concert, and I thought they'd be everyone&rsquo;s favorites, but people didn't &lsquo;feel&rsquo; anything about them.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Then I wrote a song out of a deeply personal place.&nbsp; I didn't try to craft it to make sure everyone who heard it could &lsquo;insert themselves&rsquo; in it.&nbsp; It was SO personal about MY deepest longings and hurts and losses and hopes... and guess what?&nbsp; People loved it.&nbsp; And more than just loving it, they identified with it.&nbsp; They made it their own.&nbsp; They would come up to me after the concert and say, "That song. Ugh. That song... that's MY song."&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>That's when I realized, what is deeply personal is also deeply universal.&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>The more honest I am, I am astounded by the mass amounts of people who give me feedback that they share the exact same sentiments.&nbsp; Of course, our stories vary, and the details are wildly different, but the core emotions are the same.&nbsp; I wish we could all peek behind the curtain of our hearts and see that we are more similar than we are different.&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>All that to say, I have a very distinct and exacting POV from where I wrote this song, and I'll share that with you.&nbsp; However, I would hate for MY story to replace YOUR story of why it speaks to you, IF it speaks to you.&nbsp; Because it's highly likely that you DON&rsquo;T have the same circumstances I was in, but it's also highly likely you DO have the same core emotions as me.&nbsp; So while you hold on to your 'story behind the song'... here's my story behind the song:</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>You can read more details in my bio, but here&rsquo;s the short version: I was signed to Capitol Records at 17 years old.&nbsp; It was everything I had hoped for and imagined could happen in my life.&nbsp; It was the definition of a &lsquo;dream come true&rsquo;!&nbsp; But pretty quickly, that dream morphed into a living nightmare when at 21 years old I was dropped from the label.&nbsp; I tried to gain interest from any other people in the music business, but no one wanted to touch me with a 10 foot pole.&nbsp; For a season, I ended up going to a junior college to take some classes because I didn&rsquo;t know what to do next with my life.&nbsp; I felt so sad and confused and lost in the world.&nbsp; I had peaked already but I was just barely old enough to legally buy a glass of champagne to toast my &lsquo;retirement&rsquo;.&nbsp; It was a dark time.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>I can't tell you the emotional rollercoaster it is to be an artist, putting your music out music in the world.&nbsp; Songs that you've poured your heart and soul into, only to be criticized and rejected with one "listen" (or sometimes not even that!).&nbsp; You start to feel like you don't belong.&nbsp; You start to wonder, does anyone think what I have to offer is valuable?&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>And then one day, I had a phone call with an A&amp;R executive at a record label who was interested in signing me.&nbsp;He was so nice.&nbsp; He was so complimentary.&nbsp; He made me feel like I was important, and like I had something worthwhile to add to the world.&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>When I hung up the phone, I was in a full spiral of intense emotions.&nbsp; I was elated.&nbsp; I was scared.&nbsp; I was hopeful.&nbsp; I was doubtful.&nbsp; I was up.&nbsp; I was down.&nbsp; And all of this happened in in rapid fire and it took a total of about 5 minutes to cycle through.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Then I decided I needed to do something productive, that&rsquo;s when I wrote the song &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t&rdquo;.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>I wanted to call this guy back and say, "Listen, don't get my hopes up!&nbsp; Don't tell me things that I want to hear!&nbsp; If this isn't going to end well for me, I'd rather hang up on you right now, cause I literally can't afford the emotional investment.&nbsp; I've gone 'emotionally bankrupt' on this dream of mine.&nbsp; I have put my whole heart in, and I've come up short.&nbsp; And I have accepted my loss."&nbsp; I wanted to tell him, "You think this is just a casual/get-to-know you conversation, but I am hanging on every word.&nbsp; My heart is beyond vulnerable right now.&nbsp; Whatever you say has the potential to make or break me."</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Of course, I didn&rsquo;t call him up and say all that!&nbsp;&nbsp; Cause I didn&rsquo;t want him to think I was CRAZY!&nbsp; (Even though that&rsquo;s how I felt.). But I did write a song exposing my feelings for all the world to hear, so maybe I&rsquo;m even crazier then I think I am?! Haha.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Regardless, in the end, they did not want to sign me.&nbsp; And I grieved that as best I could when it finally ended.&nbsp; But what I was left with, after I hung up the phone that day, was a reckoning.&nbsp; A reckoning with my own desires.&nbsp; A reckoning with my own hopes.&nbsp; (And yes, I'm stealing this 'reckoning' idea from Brene Brown - I am obsessed with her and I owe her tens of thousands of dollars in therapy hours she saved me through reading her books.)&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>But I digress...&nbsp;</p>
<p>In that conversation with the A&amp;R guy, something had woken back up in me, something I was trying so hard to keep asleep.&nbsp; When I was dropped from Capitol records it felt like the dream inside me died.&nbsp; Or maybe a more accurate word picture is that my dream was on life-support in the ICU.&nbsp; It was severely wounded and I was exhausted from holding out hope that it would ever come back to life.&nbsp; You see, I loved my dream.&nbsp; It is/was beautiful.&nbsp; But the reality is, that it has not panned out the way I imagined it would.&nbsp; And that is a hard truth to accept.&nbsp; Especially for an idealist, like me.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>My tendency here is to insert positive sentiments.&nbsp; I like to spin everything into a little anecdote to make myself feel better.&nbsp; To wrap it up in a pretty little package and put a bow on it.&nbsp; I try to say something like, 'but God knew all along what was best for me, and TA-DA, now I've come to realize something so much better!'&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>That's a 'classic-me' move.&nbsp;&nbsp;Just ask my husband.&nbsp; He gets really annoyed when I do that.&nbsp; Because, the reality is, I don&rsquo;t like to sit in the pain.&nbsp; I don&rsquo;t like to sit with sadness.&nbsp; I like to move on and feel happy again, but some things need time to heal.&nbsp; Some things need time to grieve.&nbsp; And sometimes that &ldquo;time&rdquo; is a lifetime.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>So I'm NOT gonna end it that way today.&nbsp; I'm gonna be real.&nbsp; And I'm gonna dare to trust that maybe what's deeply personal inside me right now is also deeply universal, and is inside you right now.&nbsp; Maybe, right now, you love something but it hasn&rsquo;t worked out the way you thought it would.&nbsp; Maybe, right now, you love <em>someone</em> but the relationship has broken down, and you are still limping along and can&rsquo;t shake the disappointment.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>If I&rsquo;m honest, I still struggle with this dream daily.&nbsp; Part of me wants it to just lay down and die, so I can move on.&nbsp; So I can stop holding out hope.&nbsp; So I can pursue other things.&nbsp; But it won't die on it's own, and I can't kill it, because I can't quit loving it, even though I try.&nbsp; I keep on returning to it.&nbsp; I keep longing for it.&nbsp; I keep seeing new ways and possibilities that it can be resurrected and that starts the vicious 'hope cycle' all over again.&nbsp; The hope that if I hold on long enough, it will come to fruition.&nbsp; The hope that this is some test, and I only need to prove myself faithful, and it will all work out.&nbsp; And here's the kicker... that might be true!&nbsp; (Ugh, here we go again, the vicious hope cycle just started over in my heart! Haha)</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Here's the deal, we all want to matter in this world.&nbsp; I'll personalize it... I want to matter.&nbsp;&nbsp;I want my art/music to matter to you.&nbsp; I want it to matter to a lot of people.&nbsp; And because of that, I take a risk and put myself out there.&nbsp; But it is a painful reality to wake up to when I am rejected or not received in the ways I thought I would be.&nbsp; And sometimes I want to run and hide and say, "Just don't.&nbsp; Don't get me going.&nbsp;&nbsp; Don't stir up these things in me.&nbsp; Don't wake up my dormant dreams.&nbsp; Don't tell me my songs matter, because its hurts so much when it doesn't work out the way I had hoped it would... so just don't."&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>But&hellip; I still deeply hope it matters to someone.&nbsp; In fact, I hope it matters to YOU.&nbsp; And if it does, then you are my &lsquo;someone&rsquo;.&nbsp; And that means the world to me.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>I would love it if you would reach out to me, and tell me YOUR story.&nbsp; Email me at: kendall@kendallpayne.com</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>And, if you want to support me and hear more &ldquo;Kendall Payne&rdquo; music, click on the link to my Patreon page and consider becoming a contributor.&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Much love,</p>
<p>Kendall</p>

Lyrics

<p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Don't</strong></span></p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Don&rsquo;t get my hopes up</p>
<p>Don&rsquo;t take such tender tones</p>
<p>I just may fall for it</p>
<p>I just may fall, so don&rsquo;t</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Don&rsquo;t get me thinking&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p>I&rsquo;ve settled every score</p>
<p>Don&rsquo;t play these games with me</p>
<p>To loose, I can&rsquo;t afford</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Something inside me</p>
<p>Somewhere has died, see</p>
<p>So little has survived</p>
<p>But when you were talking</p>
<p>Oh how it killed me</p>
<p>Oh how I came alive</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Don&rsquo;t ask me questions</p>
<p>Don&rsquo;t ask me why</p>
<p>Don&rsquo;t ask me anything</p>
<p>And I won&rsquo;t have to lie</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Nobody knows this</p>
<p>I never show this</p>
<p>Side of myself so pure</p>
<p>But inside is beating</p>
<p>A heart that is bleeding</p>
<p>I&rsquo;m fragile and insecure</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Don&rsquo;t&hellip; unless you mean it</p>
<p>Don&rsquo;t offer me your oath</p>
<p>I just may fall for it</p>
<p>I just may fall, so don&rsquo;t</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>I just may fall in love</p>
<p>I just may fall, so don&rsquo;t</p>