Disclaimer: If you haven’t listened to Ben Rector’s most recent album, Magic, stop reading right now and go give it a listen then come right on back to this post. In fact, this post is best enjoyed if this is playing in the background while you’re reading..
This particular album has been the soundtrack to our discernment/prep/decision-making journey over the past few months. It has pumped us up, evoked nostalgia, inspired our dreaming and given us emoji heart eyes every time we yell, “Alexa, play Magic by Ben Rector!” while doing dishes together in the evening (one of our favorite past times).
Here are some of our favorite songs from the album and the some of the reasons why:
We’ve already decided this one will be the first song we play as we roll out of town in December.
With lyrics like…
“When's the last time we dropped our things and went?
Woke up somewhere that we've both never been?
Growin' up doesn't mean gettin' older”
“White lines flyin' by, who knows what we'll find
You and me tonight”
...this song is the fuel that fills our anticipation tanks.
No way you can listen to this song and not sing it to your boo (or your dog...or hairbrush). Those of you who have listened, can we all agree that one of the best lines is “you can Beyonce, I can be Jay Z…” ? It’s just fun. This song is flat out fun. The way Ben goes through duos just makes you nostalgic and lovey all at the same time. Meanwhile Ben shows his selfless love for his boo by putting her first giving her the halves of the duos that really shine. Props. Definitely a favorite.
While the story behind the lyrics is different for Ben, the way he describes remembering the way it feels like to chase a dream really hit home with us.
“Thank God for how it feels to chase a dream…”
The feelings that we’ve had in seeking out what it might look like to chase this dream of a year on the road is hard to explain and this song helped us put words to it. The last time Evan had a feeling like this was packing up all his things in Tulsa, Oklahoma to move to Atlanta, Georgia for a job. It’s so real. And it’s a gift.
It’s hard to describe the emotions associated with chasing a dream. A sense of adventure. Fear of the unknown. Acceptance of the unknown. Joy. Aliveness. John Steinbeck explains at the beginning of Travels with Charley in Search of America, “...only those who have experienced it will understand it.” I think Ben explains it similarly with his lyrics, “Thank God for how it feels to chase a dream.”
This one will be on repeat throughout the year.
We’ve learned so far throughout this process, and in life, that things, places, people, travels and grand adventures don’t bring peace in life. Peace doesn’t come from everything going right or having all the right things or making all the right decisions. In fact, we believe that peace is found within and at the depths and death of everything. No matter what circumstances we encounter, consolations, desolations, good or bad ‘luck’, we know that peace can be found within. The words we use for that are the Holy Spirit within us.
“Through the ups and downs, I have figured out
You find peace where you make it
Scenery won't change it
And I wasted so much time, thinkin' I could ever find
Enough of anything
That would bring me peace
So I found peace with who I am now
It's the only me I'll ever be, I've found (yeah)
There are other places, there are a million other faces
But I found peace with who I am now”
We want to sing these lyrics and mean them for the rest of our lives.
“We were kids back then, thinkin' we could live forever
We were kids back then
We were wild and free, takin' all the world together
We were kids back then
That's how we're always gonna be”
This year, we feel wild and free. We feel like we’re taking on the world together. We want to always keep our childish imagination and wonder for the rest of our lives.
Tonight, we’re headed out to The Roxy to see the Magic Tour live and we’re so stinking pumped! If you see two crazy people acting like fools, wearing the current tour merch to the concert, laughing, maybe crying and definitely losing their voices please come say hi to us. "
See you soon, Ben.