Song of the Day #4,851: ‘Letter To the Past’ – Brandi Carlile

Continuing my track-by-track presentation of Brandi Carlile’s In These Silent Days

Wrapping up the first half of In These Silent Days, ‘Letter To the Past’ is another track that gives me strong Elton John vibes, though this time it’s a ballad rather than a muscular rocker.

I’m impressed at how different each of the first five songs on this album are stylistically, even as Carlile’s worldview threads them together thematically.

‘Letter To the Past’ is a song for Carlile’s daughter Evangeline, and simultaneously a song for her younger self. Carlile says she sees so much of herself in her daughter, especially in how stubbornly rigid Evangeline can be in her beliefs and attitudes. As she put it in an interview, “a lot of raising her is going back and re-raising myself at the same time.”

One thing I love about Carlile is how open she is about the meanings behind her songs. Both in her memoir and in interviews, she is eager to peel back the curtain on her creative process.

[Verse 1]
It’s a game
Baby, it’s just a game
And nobody loses when you learn to love the one
Who finally wins sometimes
You’ll be wrong
‘Cause sometimes, we get it wrong
But nobody leaves here alive
And nothin’ holy comes from bein’ right

[Pre-Chorus]
So don’t hold your breath like that
Baby, let it go
You’re gonna feel it in your back
Believe me, I oughta know

[Chorus]
You’re a stone wall
In a world full of rubber bands
You’re a pillar of belief
Still fightin’ your shakin’ hands
Folks are gonna lean on you
And leave when thе cracks appear
But, darlin’, I’ll be herе
I’ll be the last
You’re my letter to the past

[Verse 3]
You can cry
You know it’s always okay to cry
You don’t even need to know why
But don’t you ever feel alone inside
If you need to know the truth
I still haven’t got a clue
If the blind can lead the blind
Then, baby, I’m just like you

[Chorus]
You’re a stone wall
In a world full of rubber bands
You’re a pillar of belief
Still fightin’ your empty hands
Folks are gonna lean on you
And leave when the cracks appear
But, darlin’, I’ll be here
I’ll be the last
You’re my letter to the past

[Chorus]
You’re a stone wall
In a world full of rubber bands
You’re a pillar of belief
Still hidin’ your empty hands
Folks are gonna lean on you
And leave when the cracks appear
Darlin’, I will be here
I’ll be the last
You’re my letter to the past

[Outro]
It’s a game
You know it’s okay to lose a game
But always remember your name
And have no shame because
You’re built to last

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,851: ‘Letter To the Past’ – Brandi Carlile

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Another beautiful song on what seems to be a great album.

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