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  • Emilie Surrusco

Climb to safety – the origin

I had to start by including the lyrics to “Climb to Safety” by Widespread Panic. I remember the first time I heard it. I was the passenger in a Volkswagen Jetta with my man of the moment. We were driving down a winding Colorado road; I was gazing out the window, through the dancing leaves of row after row of aspens that lined the San Juan River. I could just see the water below, churning and meandering. We were on our way to a Widespread Panic show. He turned up the music as Climb to Safety began.

My ears drank in the words. I knew I needed to stick my finger in the dike. I wanted to so badly, to stop the train from veering out of control. But I didn’t know how.

A few years later I met the man of my lifetime. In the years since, he has never left me in the dark on my own – no matter how many times I’ve tried to force him to do so. Slowly, patiently, together – I’ve started living again with my eyes open and the train has started to slow down. Somewhere along the line I made the decision to stick my finger in the dike and fear stopped ruling my life. That doesn’t mean it’s not there, lurking, waiting. It just doesn’t decide anymore. My life is mine.

You can hear, hear it comin’ Like a train out of control Surely leaves you wonderin’ Exactly where your ticket goes Scream at the conductor He’s been deaf for twenty years Hear the other people laughin’ As he grinds through every gear

You go to grab your nerve, you find that its been missin’ Seems you’ve lost your faith in everyone you know Well I surely hope that you don’t plan on winnin’ Better start payin’ more attention to the ones that throw you clear You are seconds from the impact, but you’re movin’ way too slow

You say time will surely mold you Into something you don’t like Now you’re runnin’ like a rabbit Stick your finger in the dike

Look around your room you find the paint is peelin’ Your reflective skin is fallin’ off your bones Well, I must admit I know just how you’re feelin’ Must grab each others collar, must rise out of the water ‘Cause you know as well as I do that it’s no fun to die alone

After all that I’ve been through, you’re the only one that matters Climb to safety You never left me in the dark here on my own Climb to safety I can feel the water rising, let me be your ladder Climb to safety I promise you’ll be dry and never be alone

You tell me love, has always scared you Like the things under your bed Baby, we can walk on water Like some junkies swore they did

You call me on the phone, you say that it is crucial Stick your fingers in your ears ’til they explode It’s just business, and it rolls along as usual Must grab each others collar, we must rise out of the water ‘Cause you know as well as I do that it’s no fun to die alone

After all that I’ve been through, you’re the only one that matters Climb to safety You never left me in the dark here on my own Climb to safety I can feel the water rising, let me be your ladder Climb to safety I promise you’ll be dry and never be alone

After all that I’ve been through, you’re the only one that matters Climb to safety You never left me in the dark here on my own Climb to safety I can feel the water rising, let me be your ladder Climb to safety I promise you’ll be dry and never be alone

Yeah, climb to safety Ooh, climb to safety, safety Yeah Climb to safety

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