Writer Michael Coleman, the Artistic Director of Phoenix’s See Your Shadow Songwriting, has released a new single and video cakked “I Will Tell Jesus You Said Hello” and to celebrate, we asked him to tell us about the song. Here is the story:
“I Will Tell Jesus You Said Hello” is the first song embracing See Your Shadow Songwriting’s new sound and direction. The song itself has taken a long journey and it has finally arrived. The song is full of dichotomy, which makes it complicated and both simple at the same time and that really is the beauty of it. From the title, one would think it would be a religious record, but it is not. While the song does take the listeners on an emotional, heartfelt journey, laced with spiritual elements, it speaks more about dealing with adversity and tragedy and finding healing and comfort within the midst of that.
“I Will Tell Jesus You Said Hello” was written many years ago. I cannot even tell you where the inspiration for the piece came from and that happens sometimes. Unlike working on a project where you know you have so many songs to write and you have a general idea of what themes you want to write about, “I Will Tell Jesus You Said Hello” wasn’t born that way. Something just hit me one day out of the blue and I wrote the chorus first and then worked my way backwards. Originally, the song was three verses and each verse spoke about three separate incidents of loss and we told the stories through a simple piano accompaniment and it was very moving. The song sat in my catalog for quite some time and then when I decided to do a new body of work, I started going through songs that were in the catalog that I wanted to give some new life to. I pulled “I Will Tell Jesus You Said Hello” out and started reading the lyric sheet. As I was reading the lyric sheet, the song began to speak to me even more than it did previously. I started hearing it as a duet. However, in its original form lyrically, a duet would not work. I began to rewrite it into its current form and tell the story of a husband and wife who lose their child. The first verse is the original first verse. Constructing that story was actually pretty hard to do as I didn’t have any personal emotion to draw upon, since I don’t have any kids. Having to put myself in that situation in order to tell the story of the song and have it authentic was quite the task. However, you still can plug any situation into the story and find the comfort you need within that chorus. “I Will Tell Jesus You Said Hello” has helped me deal with the loss of my mother last year and has more special meaning to me now, than it ever did before and that is why we decided to lead with it as we launched the rebranding of See Your Shadow Songwriting.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below