Dar Williams: Two Songs Relevant to “Minding Therapy”

Two years ago my very first post for “Minding Therapy” featured a therapy song by singer/songwriter Dar Williams—but because I didn’t yet use search engine optimization, few readers have seen it. As I’d still like to showcase this tune, I’m presenting it today along with a related one.

Dar Williams: “After All”

“After All” is about the severe depression Williams experienced at the age of 21. You can watch her performance below. Following the video some of the lyrics are excerpted:

 Excerpted Lyrics from “After All”

…But I held the evil of the world
So I stopped the tide
Froze it up from inside
And it felt like a winter machine
That you go through and then
You catch your breath and winter starts again
And everyone else is spring bound

And when I chose to live
There was no joy
It’s just a line I crossed
I wasn’t worth the pain my death would cost
So I was not lost or found

And if I was to sleep
I knew my family had more truth to tell
So I traveled down a whispering well
To know myself through them…

‘Cause when you live in a world
Well it gets into who you thought you’d be
And now I laugh at how the world changed me
I think life chose me after all

Dar Williams: “What Do You Hear In These Sounds?”

With prodding from friends, Williams started treatment for her depression. Her brilliant and witty song called “What Do You Hear In These Sounds?” is about the joys and vagaries of therapy.

Excerpted Lyrics from “What Do You Hear In These Sounds?”

I don’t go to therapy to find out if I’m a freak
I go and I find the one and only answer every week
And it’s just me and all the memories to follow
Down any course that fits within a fifty minute hour
And we fathom all the mysteries, explicit and inherent
When I hit a rut, she says to try the other parent
And she’s so kind, I think she wants to tell me something,
But she knows that it’s much better if I get it for myself…

I say I hear a doubt, with the voice of true believing
And the promises to stay, and the footsteps that are leaving
And she says, “Oh”, I say “What? “…She says “Exactly,”
I say “What, you think I’m angry
Does that mean you think I’m angry?”
She says, “Look, you come here every week
With jigsaw pieces of your past
Its all on little soundbytes and voices out of photographs
And that’s all yours, that’s the guide, that’s the map
So tell me, where does the arrow point to?…

And when I talk about therapy, I know what people think
That it only makes you selfish and in love with your shrink
But oh how I loved everybody else
When I finally got to talk so much about myself…

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