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Adam Pope / Blog

Voice Of Freedom

“For generations and centuries I was contained

In the hearts of all men, but never attained

Until Christopher Columbus unknowingly found

A new land in which I would, one day, abound

So, one by one, ships sailed my way

In search of my shores and a much brighter day

The risk, it was high, but the reward so great

For those who attempted to acquire my taste

And with me was bred the spirit to fight

And crush every threat to the God-given rights

The pursuit of happiness, life, & liberty

All men created equal, but there were no guarantees

For, my blessings were reserved for those who toiled

A bright future was paved on American soil

I strengthened the spirit of those who rebelled

And they stood their ground, some even fell

But, with the stroke of a pen in 1776

America declared her independence

Now, over 200 years have passed since that day

And most take me for granted, it’s sad to say

You’re children receive the fruits I provide

Yet they don’t even know I came with a price

So much blood was shed, protecting my name

Now, before your eyes, I’m slipping away

All it’ll take for me to be lost

Is a spoiled generation, raised to be soft

My enemy resides in a society

That won’t acknowledge God, or responsibility

So stand up with boldness, walk in the Light

And the miracles needed God will provide

Do like your forefather’s had to do

The same is the calling I’ve required of you

For I’m only as strong as the grip of your hand

Holdin’ to the truths that built this great land

And as history shows and nature suggests

There will always be those who fight for my death

You MUST battle ignorance with truths from the past

Because if you don’t, God knows, I won’t last.”

Sincerely, Freedom.

Written By Adam D. Pope, A Different Note Publishing-2010

THE THIEF-Story Behind The Song

I was 18 years old when I wrote this one, it was one of the earliest songs I had ever written. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the first of many I would write through the eyes and perspective of another person, or object. When I look back at the songs I wrote during that period, there is not one that I still do today, except for “The Thief”. I still sing it the same way, with no changes to the original lyrics I wrote way back then. I have always found it interesting that when Jesus was on the cross, all His friends that were eyewitness to His miracles, parables, and sermons were nowhere to be found. His disciples were not just men that came to a service twice a week with Jesus as their pastor, they gave up EVERYTHING to follow Him and sleep on the dirt with Him, or wherever he ended up. Christ went out with them on the Sea of Galilee while they worked; he washed their feet after feeding 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish. For three years, He was their friend, leader, servant, and just one of the boys. They saw how passionate Jesus was when He went off on the folks in the temple and flipped tables because they were blaspheming and disrespecting what God the Father is all about. They saw His tender side when He forgave the woman caught in adultery. He raised Lazarus from the dead before their eyes! And yet, after experiencing all of this with a man who claimed to be the King of Kings, they hid in fear when Jesus’ own prediction came to pass, as he was arrested to be eventually crucified. So, here is Christ…Nailed to a cross, dying a painful death reserved for those who were convicted for committing some form of crime. And beside Him, is a thief. This guy is looking at a Jesus who, no matter what He had claimed, was, currently, in the same predicament that the criminal found himself in. The guy on the other side of Christ mocked with the others…”Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!!!”……... Meanwhile, this other guy sees something different, and whatever it was, it was enough to prompt him to ask that Christ remember him in His kingdom. The lowly thief, believed, and found everlasting life, while the disciples struggled with doubt and fear (which many of them overcame after the resurrection). With that in mind, I couldn’t help but try to express what, I think, may have been the thoughts that led “the thief” to redemption. It took seven years to finally record it though, and with Lisa’s help, I was able to get something that I am proud of. I played all the instruments on it, and tried to keep it simple. I hope the listener can go away with a deeper sense of God’s love and mercy after hearing the story about “The Thief”.

THE BED YOU MADE- STORY BEHIND THE SONG

There were so many different influences that have contributed to my songs. But, if there was one song that bridged as many of them together as possible, it would be “The Bed You Made”. While growing up, I heard so many oldies, but goodies. I quickly became familiar with the heavy strumming and strong rockabilly sounds of Elvis Presley’s Sun Records. I remember getting his whole Sun Collection on a CD one Christmas and being captivated by “Mystery Train”. The bass, rhythm guitar, and electric guitar just blew my mind! I didn’t understand why nobody else my age seemed to get it. If you ever have the privilege of hearing “Mystery Train”, listen for the way the rhythm guitar weaves in and out and how the drive is just pounded out by the bass. I loved that sound, and had no idea it would come out years later in an idea I had. But, I won’t get ahead of myself…back to my influences. My life was completely changed by the movie “Ray”. I had heard his music, and always liked it. But seeing it with my own eyes brought to another level! I understand that it was Jamie Fox in the movie, but I started really buying Ray Charles’ albums and feeling those notes he hit. I’m talkin’ FEELING and SOUL! He could pound out teardrops on the piano, and I personally was moved by “Baby, What I Say”. Not in a sad way though. I just moved! I couldn’t sit or stand still and it just made me wanna shout! “MMMM, Hey baby, doncha treat me wrong! Come and love your daddy all night long…alrigghhht, Mmmmmm, alllright!” Those words were just merely the music that laid over top of what he couldn’t say in front of a family audience, the true meaning of the song can be found in that 1960’s electric piano he was lovin’ on. It was just plain hot music. And I always carried that sound in my head, but never had an outlet for it in my “country” songs. Then, there was Johnny Cash, the single biggest influence on my writing than anybody else. His persona, his lyrics…they were just what I needed to get me to believe in the pen in my hand. He was the nail in the coffin that made sure I would commit my life to pursuing music. He had that cool rhythm thing going on too. Did he ever! “Big River” is my favorite early recording. It has the same feel and drive as “Mystery Train”, but in a way that makes it only Johnny’s song. And the lyrics…wow. It’s very easy to overlook the lines “I taught the weeping willow how to cry, cry, cry; And I showed the clouds how to cover up the clear blue sky”. So, what do you get when you mix Ray Charles keys, Elvis beats and electric guitar, and Johnny Cash rhythm? Well, if you are Adam Pope, you get “The Bed You Made”. I wanted a song that I could let the band really show off on, so I wrote the music in my head while I was working one day. I wanted the upright bass to get a chance to really rock, the drums to be just crazy, the guitar to be dirty and raw, and I had to have what I called the “Ray” sounding keys. I always laugh and tell folks not to listen to the words, cuz they don’t count on this one. I just wrote the words to go along with the real point of this song…the music. I didn’t place too much thought into the lyrics, as I usually do, and ended up with one of my most proud recordings. We recorded the song in an “old school” fashion, by doing it live. Except for the keys, the whole song was recorded with no overdubs. It took several takes for us to get the tempo right where I wanted it, but we all notched in and I sang live with the band right there in the same room. The next day, Dusty came in and nailed the “Ray” sound in two takes. I guess the reason I am so proud of this one, is because I hear so much of my childhood and favorite influences in it. I hope the listener can acknowledge the sounds of the legends when they hear “The Bed You Made”, and I have my awesome band members to thank for giving it the sound I only dreamed of being able to create just a few years ago.

ENGINEER- STORY BEHIND THE SONG

One day at Lisa’s(my upright bass player) studio, she showed me this new thing she had worked up on the bass. I remember how my jaw just hit the floor while she was rockin’ out on this beat, and I swore I would write a song where we could make use of that lick. Months later, I was running around on a Saturday night with my buddies, Ben & Cody, when I took them to find the Ridgetop, TN train tunnel. I only wanted to look at it, but we couldn’t leave without walking through it. It is about a mile long, and not that wide at all. We figured that we wouldn’t run into a train at 1:00 AM, but we figured wrong. Half-way through the tunnel, we saw a light headed our way, and there was no way we were getting out before the train reached us. We immediately got off to the side of the tracks, and stood in 5 or 6 inches of ditch water, with our backs against the wall. You know what’s worst than being in between a rock and a hard place? Being between a rock and a train headed your way! I will never forget the rush I felt as that train came closer and closer to us. The whistle was amplified by the tunnel walls, and nearly blew my eardrums as the sound of the engines rumbled my soul. Then the front of the train passed, we were surrounded by pitch darkness, and the remaining mile of passing and screeching railroad cars. I opened up my cell phone for light at one point, and I realized that if I reached my arms straight out, my hands would be knocked off by the train. That is how close we were. As soon as the train passed, me and my buddies said “That was awesome!” We were ok, so now it was cool. Not long after that, Ben fell in between the tracks, and skinned his leg. While he was trying to get out of the unexpected hole, another train let us know he was coming! We went through the same drill as the last one, and once again the train rumbled by. We felt relieved that nobody was hurt. By the time we got to the other side of the tunnel, we decided to walk over the ridge, instead of going back through. By the time we got the the car, we were chased by junkyard dogs, and picked up by cop. After explaining why were wondering around in the town at 2:30 AM, with mud on our pants, we were scolded for being so crazy, but no charges were filed. It was a night that we will never forget, and one that we often look back on with a laugh. After that experience, my mom told me a story about a young man that committed suicide by stepping out in front of a train. The engineer had to live with the memory of the victim’s last glance, the lost eyes looked right up at his before he died. All these events led to the creation of this song. I just tried to pay tribute to the engineer’s that can only hope people respect the railroad, and understand the dangers involved with tempting fate. We didn’t respect it the proper way that night, but I do now. Some engineer that travels between Louisville and Nashville earned that respect from me, so, here is a song for them. Plus, I finally found a song that Lisa could do her bass thing in. :)

Adams  Grandmother
Adams Grandmother  (over 5 years ago)

Thanks Lisa! You got a number one on the way. Jimbo Trent