Lost At Sea

Dustin Welch, Super Rooster Music (SESAC); Jeremiah Nelson, CanopyAgency (BMI)

My heart is a sinking vessel
My head is full of blood
The voices ringing in my ears
Are those of every woman I have loved

Chorus
But I will not set foot upon the mountain
Though I know it must be such a sight to see
I will turn and face the wrong direction
This would be a good day to get lost at sea

I’m dreaming in another language
There’s talk of dissension among the ranks
The natives are all growing restless
And I’ve got a bad case of the shakes

Repeat Chorus

Somewhere God is in a casket
The dogs are all circling round
Waiting with tireless patience
For their master to rise up from the ground

Repeat Chorus

Dustin Welch: lead vocals, acoustic guitar; Jeremy Nail: electric guitar; Scotty Bucklin: accordion; Trisha Keefer: violin; Steve Bernal: bass, background vocals; Eldridge Goins: drums; Nathan Singleton: twin vocal

This came from the first year I was at Steel Bridge. I was paired up with these two girls, a clarinet player, an accordion player, and this lanky Wisconsin hipster looking guy named Jeremiah Nelson. It must’ve been fated. Jeremiah became one of my all time favorite co-writers. We’d have full on screaming arguments over one word in some insignificant part of a song. We’d write non-stop, whether it was in a Denny’s at four in the morning or in the back room of a bar in the middle of the afternoon. But on this first day, we had this cool instrumentation, so I insisted we were writing a pirate sea shanty, then walked directly to my room to write the lyrics without any of them. They immediately hated me. Jeremiah started in on the guitar melody using all these weird augmented and add13 chords while the clarinet and accordion player went to the liquor store. After a spell, I emerged with the first verse and chorus, and they started realizing we were actually gonna end up with something worth a damn. The girls came up with an instrumental melody and made sure we were stocked with enough whiskey for the undertaking. The last verse came late into the day on the banks of Lake Michigan when Jeremiah announced that somewhere God was in a casket. It was the Resurrection, it was Nietzsche’s The Madman: “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him…Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?” So, I say in the chorus: “I will not set foot upon the mountain/although it must be such a sight to see/I will turn and face the wrong direction/This would be a good day to get lost at sea.”

Later that night as I sat in my room working it over, putting on the final edit, I discovered I could imitate the Tuvan Throat Singers, achieving an overtone note above the low, gravelly note I was actually singing, basically making it sound like two voices. I’ve never been able to do it since, but I swear for that one brief moment, I could have been a Siberian Monk.