Track By Tracks: Misery Lane - Red Balloon (2023)

A track-by-track explanation is something I have never been asked to do. I have had people ask me if this song means “this or that” but no one has ever asked what I was thinking when I wrote down the words. I usually just like to let the music speak for itself and the listener can interpret it however they want but I’ll give everyone a peek behind the curtain of what each of these songs means to me. All the lyrics are pulled from life experiences. Hope you enjoy it!!!

1. In the Darkness:

This track was written for the dark times behind every good time. The old expression that you can’t appreciate a win if you’ve never lost is prevalent here. At some time or another, we have all felt lost and alone, drifting through the darkness of doubt and fear. The question then becomes how we get out of the dark and back to the light and this song is an explanation of that journey. Some people make it out of the darkness and some never do. For me, this was very relevant when I was a struggling single parent.

2. Won’t Change My Life:

People have told me that this song reminds them of a time when they were going through a relationship breakup or divorce, and they can really identify with the lyrics. I originally wrote the song about a “supposed” friend I had that was supposed to be my ride-or-die brother but with a simple change of circumstance, he became very opinionated and condescending about my desire to do music and tried to talk about me behind my back. This one-to-one song.

3. Please Stay:

This song was written about how I felt as a child when my mother walked out on me and my father and took my little sister with her. I was 12 and I will never forget she told me, “Kenny you’re grown I have to do me now.” My father was working, and I came home from school to an empty house just as she was packing everything to get out before he got home. It’s hard for me to talk about and I never forgave her for it. I think my pain and anguish can be felt in the music and lyrics.

4. Wake Up:

This one is about trying to get someone/people to remember to think for themselves. Stop listening to the naysayers. Unhappy people only enjoy making happy people unhappy. Stand up and make up your own mind which, currently, is more difficult than it has ever been. The only person that can change your current circumstance is you so quit blaming everyone else and wake up and be the change.

5. Where Did You Go:

This song is a dedication to the memory of my fiancé who passed away suddenly in 2018. Just one of those things no one could predict or stop. At the time I lost the best part of me, and everyone just kept telling me she was in a better place among the angels. That’s where the line “If heaven is full of angels, then why can’t they see that I need you right here sitting next to me” came from. Loss is something we all deal with, and I hope this can help me get through a tough time like it did for me. The original version was acoustic and took about 30 takes to record because I couldn’t stop crying while singing.

6. Red Balloon:

The entire album was built around this song. It started as a poem I wrote for my wife. She is a huge horror nerd and loves Stephen King and Pennywise the Clown so I thought since Pennywise can absorb the knowledge and feelings of his victims what if he wanted to experience love, so the poem and the song are written from the perspective of Pennywise trying to tell a girl he loves her but instead of giving roses he gives “One Red Balloon”. The chorus is his anger at her not understanding.

7. Liar:

This song's explanation is self-explanatory. We all know a liar. We all know what they will try to do to get what they want or make people try to believe them. This is my attempt at calling those people out. I didn’t have any one person in mind when I wrote the lyrics but more of a culmination of several people. Liars are happy to nail you to the cross for the sins they committed.

8. Misery Lane:

A song named after a band. I was weary to use Misery Lane as the title as I am not a fan of songs named after bands because they so rarely work but I was very pleased how this came together. In my mind, Misery Lane is a place we have all walked to at one time or another and this was just two of the millions of stories you can hear when strolling down Misery Lane. The first verse is your typical dreams not so coming true and the second was loosely based on my experiences in the Marines. We have gotten great feedback on the tune and how people can relate.

9. Just Go Away:

This song was written by a good friend of mine. I had the music, but I didn’t have any lyrics to go with it, so he said to let him have a go at it. He said the lyrics were about a girl he loved and wanted back but came back and wasn’t the same so they broke up again, but she won’t get out of his thoughts, and he just wanted those thoughts to go away which is something we can all relate to.

10. Goodnite:

This song was me trying to go way out of my comfort zone. The rest of the songs I can hide behind my guitar and bury the vocals in the music but this one is just me and a piano. I had never played piano before this song, so I watched a few intro to piano videos and came up with the music. For the lyrics I got the idea from some friends of mine I’d see posting on social media about being lonely after a divorce or considering suicide. I wanted the song to have a darker, mellow tone but to not be about anything in particular. My interpretation was someone putting their woes to rest so they can move on with their life. Hence the name Goodnite is purposely spelled incorrectly LOL.

So that’s it. The summation of the thought process. I hope you enjoyed the ride and your little peek behind the curtain of the madness in my mind. Ultimately regardless of what the writer/vocalist sings about I believe the interpretation of the song falls to the listener to relate it to themselves somehow and ultimately maybe help them through something because we all need help sometimes and we all fall back to music to escape.

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