Breakers Roar

The Kentucky, USA-born singer, songwriter and actor Sturgill Simpson has one of those voices that sounds like it carries deep, soulful wisdom and life experience beyond what a young man might possess. An “old soul,” as a dear Colorado friend would say.

Hearing Simpson’s voice makes me think again of the similarly-mature-sounding-at-a-young-age Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. For more on that thought, please see my post from a few days ago on his song “If You Could Read My Mind”.

A few years ago, I bought two Sturgill Simpson albums on the compelling recommendation of an American friend: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) and A Sailor’s Guide to Earth (2016). I have to admit, I haven’t listened to them much, and I don’t know why. Simpson’s voice, songwriting, instrumentation and self-production of the album produce such a superb sound.

A Sailor’s Guide to Earth earned Simpson a GRAMMY award for Best Country Album in 2017. The album features raw, outlaw country tunes, bluesy numbers, plenty of slide guitar, horns and strings, and then there are softer, more contemplative tracks like today’s selection, “Breakers Roar.” In the song, Simpson advises opening one’s heart and experiencing life and love in fullness instead of being consumed by the darkness of heartache.

Oh, how the breakers roar
They keep pulling me farther from shore
Thoughts turn to a love so kind
Just to keep me from losing my mind
So enticing, deep dark seas
It’s so easy to drown in the dream

Oh, and everything is not what it seems
This life is but a dream
Shatter illusions that hold your spirit down
Open up your heart and you’ll find love all around
Breathing and moving are healing
And soothing away
All the pain in life holding you down

Bone break and heals
Oh, but heartaches can kill
From the inside, so it seems
Oh, I’m telling you it’s all a dream
It’s all a dream
It’s all a dream
It’s all a dream
It’s all a…
It’s all a dream

(“Breakers Roar,” by Sturgill Simpson.
Unofficial lyrics courtesy of AZLyrics.com.)

The line, “Breathing and moving are healing…” is a good reminder that those two elemental activities can often be all it takes to ease one’s pain and start to unburden the mind.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the official music video from Sturgill Simpson’s official YouTube channel:

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