Rebel-rocker Jodi Essex released her new album "Irreverent" this week and to celebrate we asked her to tell us about the song "What Is Your Truth". Here is the story:
I call WIYT the "accountability song" (I've reduced the title to an acronym already, ha!). It is track #4 on my album, "Irreverent," that finally gets released on Friday, June 26th. When I look back at the scrawling of lyrics in the book in which I wrote all the lyrics for this album, (a retro-looking white with chartreuse green polka-dots, plastered with French bulldogs all over it....I know...I KNOW!) there was no doubt that I knew exactly what I wanted to say. There wasn't the usual mess of cross-outs with the marked word replacements, the scribbles, the question marks. It was a solid stream of word-smithing with a steady pen in hand.
I suppose this song was written from a place of both annoyance and observation. I've also had many conversations with others in passing about similar interactions with various people in their lives. I found there to be to be a common thread throughout. Why is it so difficult to accept responsibility in something? Why do I hear people repeatedly stating that it's always someone else's fault when something happens? That basically makes those people seem flawless and perfect. We, as humans, are not wired that way. Quite the opposite. We're born into this world with all kinds of behavioral flaws that hopefully, over time, we learn to round out or temper. School of life as we know it!
I also wrote this song as a question-answer exploration of embracing human frailty within ourselves and others. The lyrics are rooted in a search for the real truth and the "why?" behind the difficulty of living authentically every day. Truth is defined by a source as "sincerity in action, character, and utterance." That's only part of it, an Earthly responsibility that belongs to us as the human race, as we choose how to govern ourselves. It's also defined as, "the body of real things, events, facts, and statements," to which I will reference a biblical scripture, John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." As Christians, which I am, Jesus is truth and the Word; this is the foundation upon which we live our lives. Without Him at the center, we leave endless opportunities for other doctrine, principles and beliefs to take up that space in our minds and hearts. So, digging into the lyrics a bit in "What Is Your Truth?" we start out with an issue of accountability and someone who lives the narrative that nothing is ever their fault, as previously mentioned. They consistently displace blame onto others. While we've all had moments in our lives where we found it difficult to accept responsibility in something, we knew deep down there was an alternate truth to bear. The song also depicts a person with "chameleon" tendencies; someone who spends most of their energy putting on different faces for different people, all in the name of placating and pleasing others, whether or not what they speak is the truth. The damaging result of not being true to oneself is a behavioral cycle that starts to feel "like feeding you freedom," as I write in the chorus. By that, I mean when placing blame, we should be owning up to, we're creating relief ("freedom") in ourselves from any guilt we may have, which also falsely preserves our sense of self-esteem by avoiding awareness of our own flaws or failings. That's not true freedom. As I continue in the chorus, "the curse of your blame feels like bondage forever," because the truth is, as Jesus says in John 8:32, "Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." Believer or not, we've all probably heard some iteration of that sage wisdom. Living and being stuck in a type of emotional bondage from a life lacking real truth can feel like a curse - in every area of our lives. Ugh! Imagine keeping up that facade! It sounds exhausting.
In both of the character examples in the song, honesty hardly exists, they don't yet know what freedom feels like or the value of living a life of complete and pure truth. They sit backlogged, perhaps filled with all the lies they've ever told and/or escaping the truths they've never faced.
Whether it's mending a struggle with self-love or turning inward to introspectively find a pattern or incident in one's past keeping them in emotional bondage, "What Is Your Truth" is intended to bring light into their dark, and with a some tough love, set them on a path to emotional freedom by standing firm in truth.
Dude. I think I just got serious there in the last few paragraphs. But, it's the truth! Ha!
Well...what is your truth? =)
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here