Mostly she always sits alone

With her head full of things

No one wants to know

Mostly she always sits alone

Blonde skin, wide teeth, she sits alone

Saturday morning cartoons

My mom and that man I kinda know

It’s cold here, mold growing on the bedroom wall

I share it with my sister in the linoleum hall

Who will tuck me in? Suck in the tear

It’s cold here

He offered me a sip of beer from the front seat

We’re headed to Idaho for church today

Blowing bubbles could make me happy

If I was a normal kid, it may

But this is my life

This is the way it goes

Does anybody really know

The mold and pain that grows

And never seems to go away

By Rachel Adell

A lot of my music does confuse, but the dichotomy is one hundred percent intentional. Super sad lyrics paired with a completely upbeat bombastic parade? Not sure there’s a better way to describe me. I know it’s what has made my music a little less commercial. But truly, to stay authentic, I could have it no other way. You’ll find that behind many shiny performers, you’ll find a deeply quiet and often sad person. Someone who’s survived a lot of pain. Does this mean they’re fake? Does this mean they’ve gotten over everything? Does this mean they’re strong? Maybe. All I know is that each person is a complex story to unfold.

Since you’re taking the time to come and read about my song, I’ll give you a little insight to some of the experiences included in this particular song…The girl that sits alone is me. But it’s also my sisters. We all had different dads and because of this, were estranged from our family in one way or another. On the Saturday morning I was born (at home), my sister was sitting in the other room trying to drown out the screams with Sesame Street and Bugs Bunny. My biological father was the second or third in a line of men that she would stop investing in.

We’re all very imaginative girls who have always found a great audience with our mother and with one another. Those on the outside rarely understand our particular recipe of pain + honesty + quirkines. We will continue to try to explain, and continue to expect most to be thoroughly confused.

As a child, I always wanted someone to come in and tuck me in, but I also didn’t. Either I was in trouble or I was lonely, there were rarely moments in between. Moments I felt embraced and loved. There was a moment when I tried to share a homemade corner room with my baby sister to help her stop crying. It worked for a couple hours. I brought this image into the song because that night reoccurs in my thoughts and dreams over and over again.

The bridge refers to a memory that my older sister recalled about my biological dad taking us to a church over the state border from Wallowa to somewhere in Idaho. My sister detested him and church. He offered her a sip of beer while he was driving. She was in the back seat and I was laying on the front seat. She remembers chewing grape bubble gum and distincly feeling like not even that could make her happy.

The last verse is a description of pain that’s always there. You can come to terms with things, you can even try to learn from them, and then get over them. But sometimes there’s just a stubborn scar left over from the experience. Without proper attention, it could continue to grow into something larger and more distorted. *enter any number of addictions*

Since writing this song my heart has healed tremendously. There is value in talking, expressing, and sharing your experiences with others. Not only does it connect you more authentically to everyone else who’s experiencing their own kind of pain, it just validates it and makes it smaller somehow.

Here’s a line in Crocodile Dundee that explains this concept beautifully, “…if you got a problem, you tell Wally. And he tells everyone in town… brings it out in the open… no more problem.” There is something to be said about airing out the painful things of life in the warm open arms of the sun. We go through stuff, and then we get to decide if we’re going to let it be heavy or let it go.

I had cancer in this photo, but didn’t know it yet. And MAN, things were finally happening for me. Such bad timing, thanks cancer. After living in Nashville for a little while, I was finally sharing and recording the new album and then BOOM, we were hit with this incredibly life rocking news. In the years following I have come to realize how precious and important that chapter was. It was a time to turn inward and really reflect on what was most important.

2020 has many of the same qualities. 

There’s a lot of loss, heartache, and confusion, and it has definitely forced us to look at the uncomfortable/painful things in an honest open light. There are things about the world, my country, and myself that I am really broken up about. No more glossing over the crud. We need to flush out what’s suffocating us, so we have the room to firmly plant some good hardy worthwhile roots. 

So yeah, I’m super done with this year, just like you. But to share a perspective, being on the other side of all those blasted surgeries, chemo, radiation, and about a billion scans, and radioactive drinks, I’m grateful I had the opportunity to live through that because now every drop of love, health, and life I have today feels like a big juicy miracle. 

I think we should all write down the things we’ve felt and learned during this experience. This way we won’t forget what it felt like to not be able to hug someone, or go see someone, or go to a family member’s wedding, or be able to see the world smile at each other. That way, when we have it all back, we’ll be able to cherish those things forever and ever.

All my love,

Rachel Adell