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A few years ago John and I were in Ireland with a group scouting places for his book tour. A woman on the trip heard my voice and songs and asked if she could set me up to write with her client, the super talented Dan Wheeler. He lived in the UK at the time but on his next trip to Nashville, we got together. This song is the result. I usually write lyrics and melodies in my head but do not have the gift of instrumentation. Dan found the perfect chords for this. In the Hollow lives in an emotional space in which I think so many of us have been. I know I have many times in my life. It was actually inspired at the time by a character Jennifer Anniston played in a movie called Cake. The character is so mired in guilt and grief that she can't dare to let herself be loved and heal. I thought of how I've felt so desperate for love and healing, but so scared of trusting it to come through and not be just another source of pain. I love water. The sound of water pulls me toward it. I will wonder through brambles and brush to find where it is coming from. It speaks life to me like a healing whisper. In this song a person finds themself wandering, once again, to the water. The place of possible healing that they've been to before. Yet there is fear. If they surrender to this promised healing, will they have the strength to come back stronger or will they just go down and never rise. Dan helped bring these lyrics out of me and added his beautiful guitars. My husband John joined us in the end of the session adding his thoughts and perspective. Dan and I set up and recorded this right there in my living room where it was written. Where I sing alone in my house when nobody's around. It has a very intimate feel. Later Dan added some additional guitar and John added beautifully haunting harmonica. I wanted it to feel like it was calling, beckoning, and I think he really got it. I hope you like it.


Here again, water's edge
I could hear you in the hollow
Everything I had left
I had to leave behind to follow
Underneath the wreckage and the rust
Can you reach? Are you strong enough?

If you take me down.. take me down
Will you bring me back again?
I'm afraid to let go
To release these chains I'm in
Lord, I'll need your strength to rise again

What if I let you know
That my heart is full of anger
Would you turn? Would you go
Like a cold unfriendly stranger?
I feel the blessed river on my skin
Whispering, calling me in

So take me down.. take me down
And bring me back again
I'm afraid to let go
Release these chains I'm in
Lord, I'll need your strength to rise again

I breathe in now and feel the force
Of a hope that draws me under
All my doubt has run its course
One last breath before surrender


released November 21, 2021
Written by: Michelle Lynn Thompson and Dan Wheeler
Vocal: Michelle Lynn Thompson
Guitars: Dan Wheeler
Harmonica: John J. Thompson
Recorded, mixed, engineered by: Dan Wheeler
Mastered by: Duncan Ferguson
Wordy Birdy Tunes
Cover Photo: Michelle Lynn Thompson
Photo edited by: Hannah Miller


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The Wayside Nashville

The Wayside is John and Michelle Thompson and the various friends and collaborators who have come alongside them over the past 32 years of rootsy music making. Originally from the Chicago area, they now call East Nashville home and they love it.

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