Like my song "When You Look," on the album "A Sea of Empty Faces," "Rooted" happens to be my favorite song on this album. And, like "When You Look," "Rooted" tends to be overlooked. The similarities are numerous between the two songs. Both are largely two instruments accompanying my voice. Both are later in the album. Both are the most autobiographical songs on the album.
"Rooted" has a tumultuous beginning. As we were arranging the album, my producer and I were going back and forth about another song on the album, "Do I Love You Less?". We felt, lyrically, it was fairly week. I kept trying to rewrite the lyrics, but I couldn't come up with anything. So, one night, we talked for several hours about what the song was supposed to say. I'll go into more detail about the specifics of "Do I Love You Less?" in it's own post, but as we discussed, we realized that I had a lot more to say than I did in that song.
Before I explain "Rooted," let me take a step back and shine some light into my own inner workings. I tend to favor logical decision making over emotional. That's not to say I don't feel emotion, or even don't get overwhelmed by emotion occasionally, I just rarely like to make decisions based on my emotional responses. Some people have found me to be frustrating to argue with because I rarely let my emotions take over, and therefore can come off as distant. But, I just don't see the advantage of making decisions without exhausting every logical outcome and avoiding impulsive outbursts.
"Rooted" took shape when I was asked what I was scared of. Was I so scared of being wrong? My response turned into the first lyric: "I'm not scared of being wrong, but I'm terrified of being lost." Through hours of discussion I came to the conclusion that I tried to avoid emotional responses because there wasn't an easy way to navigate them. At my darkest moments I felt so lost because logic had failed me, and I didn't want to deal with the emotions left behind. The first verse sets up that idea. I find myself in a wilderness that I can't navigate, because there aren't any recognizable landmarks. But the chorus flips that with me proclaiming that, "I desperately want to see the beauty surrounding me." The crazy, untamable wilderness that is emotion is beautiful, you just have to learn to appreciate it.
Verse two goes into more detail about why I struggle with this wilderness. I like black and white. Contrast. Right and wrong. But this emotional wilderness is chaos that has all these shades and hues swirling and blending. Red turns to orange turns to yellow turns to green turns to blue, and then back again. Happy can become sad can become angry. That idea terrifies me.
I like maps. Trail markings. GPS. But emotion can be like trying to navigate a ship in a raging see without stars or coordinates. "Rooted" never really resolves, because emotion rarely resolves. It's not a happy song, but it's not really sad either. I didn't record to a metronome, so the tempo changes. There's strum pattern shifts. If I were to put a playlist of songs together that gave you insight into my own psyche, "Rooted" would be at the top.