The Story Behind The Song Safe
Welcome to Day 7 of the album diaries for Covered in Clover!
Safe came to me after I had a difficult conversation with a roommate. I often write songs self-ishly at first, in an effort to process big emotions that I don’t yet understand. That is true with this song.
However, I’ve noticed that often this kind of songwriting will end up tapping into a much deeper layer of emotion that has nothing to do with the instigating situation. It’s as if the songs crack open who the songwriter really is.
Music is therapy. No way around that.
After writing the chorus of Safe I remember sitting in my studio at the time, in Tacoma, WA -- I said out loud to myself… “Wow. This is a pattern. We’ve seen this before.”
I’ve had several close relationships where I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way… Maybe not out loud or in so many words, but the sentiment behind this song is not foreign to me. To people I care deeply about, I’ve had to say “I can’t love you the way you want me to and I can’t love you like I wanted to.”
They are never easy words to say.
This song was on my earlier live EP and you can hear the difference between the two versions below. The studio version in this album is filled with strings, electric guitar, drums, and a choir of horns. It’s quite a different vibe. (I’m partial to that horn melody at the end!)
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Listen to Safe
(Shhh!!! This is for your eyes & ears only!)
The Self-Titled EP Version of Safe
The Lyrics for Safe
Don’t step near me. Don’t you touch me.
I thought I told you, walk away.
Don’t you trust me? I said I love you today.
No, I won’t hold you. Just back away.
You’re just not safe, near me.
There’s a long list of reasons why
I’m just not safe, near you.
I can’t love you like you want me to
I can’t love you like I wanted to
I’m on my own now. It’s not ideal, but I’ll live.
We took our chances, we’re better off alone.
I hope you find it All the love there is to give.
Mine’s not enough for you to call your own.
It’d be easier to stay
If you were safe
It’d be easier to stay
If I were safe with you
Produced by Emily Ann Peterson / Co-production & engineering by Gary Mula / Mixing by Mackenzie Spear / Mastering by Raelynn Janicke / Vocals, piano, cello & tenor guitar by Emily Ann Peterson / Bass & guitar by Eric Howk / Drums on tracks 1, 2, 4, and 7 by Aaron Benson / Drums on tracks 6, 8 and 9 by Lacey Brown / Violin by Alina To / Bassoon by Coltan Foster / Flugelhorn by Carey Rayburn / Trumpets by Scott Morning & Carey Rayburn / Saxophone by Andrew Vait / Instrumental arrangement on track 5 by Jess Aldredge/ Photography by Laura Schneider / Cover design by Emily Ann Peterson
This album exists with help from my fans and patrons:
Margaret Ann Martin, Eugene H. Peterson, Jan Krist, Shelby Earl, Jennifer Monahan, Janet Haney, Nicholas Herring, Hillel Cooperman, Jeff Brumley, James Lenhardt, Chris Burlingame, Karen Schwartzbauer, Hanni Hunderfund, Karina Sprinkle, Mandy Troxel, Steve Eulberg, Freya Kennedy, Heidi Stoermer, Nathan Hollifield, Anna Ungar, Anna Armstrong, Mark Peterson, Cindy Peterson, Melanie Harding, Kye Alfred Hillig, Erin Mae Lewis, Jess Shook, Pepe Doval Conzalez, Jamshid Faryar, Nyhuis Creative, Diane Morissette, Kristi Leksen, Laura Constantino, Karla Johnson, Daniel McBain, Maria Bunn, Kaitlin Winter-Eulberg, Kari Van Gelder, Scott Haydon, Kelly Goss, Cherie Perucci, Charlotte Seawell, Matt Hanna, Michael Clark, Becca Iverson, Chris Nippard, Emily Rose, Renee Escobar, Peter Berkeley, Christina Strand, Chris Mathews Jr., Theresa Kennedy, Cheryl Branz, Billy Brush, Elizabeth Burda, Heather Grady
...and anyone else who's attended a concert, purchased my book, listened to my songs, or joined my Inner Circle.
Thank you for your enduring support of musical bravery!
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