Field Of Failure

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Producer Gabe Scott and I are honing in on the final four songs on Far Side Of The Sea. I hinted at this in earlier posts, but now, neck-deep into the recording, I am more aware than ever just how vast a musical departure this album is for me. Production-wise, it is a sharp left turn. The strange thing is that the change no longer intimidates me. Gabe and I have worked very hard on this material, not only to avoid complacency and familiarity, but to be uncomfortably stretched. At Gabe’s request, I committed from day one to, musically, take the road less-traveled. I am glad to have been a part of creating something so far outside my comfort zone.

I habitually present myself as an Eeyore, a gray spectre haunting an otherwise light, pastoral scene. Admittedly, this is how I have introduced the song, “Field Of Failure”: “Hello everybody, I’m a failure at everything I do, I can’t get anything right…you know, like Charlie Brown” [re-insert head into sand]. It occurred to me only recently that my introduction falls short of telling the crucial truth: on my own, in my striving to please and succeed, it is true that I am absolutely not enough. But in the shadowed refuge of God’s wings, and only there, despite my helplessness and failure, am I enough for the very simple reason that He delights in me.

This is a sneak peek at an early mix of the album version of “Field Of Failure,” a song I played for the very first time live at Hutchmoot 2014.

Eric Peters, affectionately called “Pappy” by those who love him, is the grand old curmudgeon of the Rabbit Room. But his small stature and often quiet presence belie a giant talent. He’s a songwriter of the first order, and a catalogue of great records bears witness to it. His last album, Birds of Relocation, blew minds and found its way onto “year’s best” lists all over the country. When he’s not painting, trolling bookstores, or dabbling in photography, he’s touring the country in support of his latest record, Far Side of the Sea.


5 Comments

  1. Scott B.

    I very much resonate with the sentiments of this song. As I approach 40, I’m starting to realize that my wide-eyed “someday I’ll get this right!” mentality was quite short-sighted. The flip side of “oh well…could someone pin my tail back on?” is not correct either. Instead, I’m trying to train myself to embrace my failure, ask God for forgiveness and for more of His Holy Spirit, and live my life knowing that someday I’ll pass into the loving arms of Jesus and fully understand His love for me.

    As AP sings in Just As I Am:
    “Well it’s time now to harvest what little that grew
    This man they call Jesus, who planted the seeds
    Has come for the fruit
    And the best that I’ve got isn’t nearly enough
    He’s glad for the crop, but it’s me that He loves”

    Amen.

  2. April Pickle

    My watery eyes don’t lie, and they got watery before the lyrics even started. I say the less-traveled musical road is working, and this whole album is going to be great. Keep up the good work, boys.

  3. Josh Duncan

    Yes. When the words finally started sinking to my heart (it took me a bit) I saw myself in them. “Not enough…nothing I did amounted to much.”

    I always figured that anything I accomplished couldn’t have been all that hard. After all, I did it, and what am I?

  4. JamesDWitmer

    “And they were lovely, because He loved them.” – S. Lloyd Jones

    Wonderful insight, Eric. And man, do I feel these lyrics. I’ve said some variation so many times. The production is beautiful. Super excited to hear where you take this song, and the album.

    and @Scott B. – I like your summary of the conflict (silly optimism vs Eeyore) as well. Two false highways, and then the other, twisty, narrow path.

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