Original Song: White Knuckles (A Song For Rebecca)

And so begins the eighth years of the original song-a-month project. Month 85 brings a song with an interesting story. I always try and write a song each flight I take (which is quite a few). On a recent flight I had nothing with about half an hour to go before landing in Adelaide. Suddenly we hit some pretty good turbulence, and the girl sitting next to me began gripping the armrest with all her might – she was terrified. I asked if I could help, but she said she’d just have to hang in there. Seeing her grip made me immediately spring into action to try and write something about the fear of flying. It came pretty easily, and when we finally landed, she thanked me for checking on her and went on to explain her terrible fear and how debilitating it was and how hard it was to explain. In what must have been a pretty creepy moment for her, I handed her my iPad and said, “Is it anything like this?” She read the lyrics, and I explained my songwriting thing (which hopefully made her feel a little bit better!). In a double creepy move, I then asked what her name was, because I like the idea of a title with her name in it to capture the moment. As you can see, she obliged and so the song was set. I don’t know if she’ll ever hear it – don’t worry, no contact details were exchanged! – but I like to think one day she might! I recorded the parts in the hotel room on that stay so it’s still a very raw demo – but the band have had an early crack at it so when we’re done I’ll put the other version up too. So to all those with a fear of flying, this one’s for you!

©2019 Chuck Smeeton

Holding on for dear life
Irrational thoughts run wild
Living on the edge
This is the final ride

Too late now to change
Strapped into my fate
Searching for solutions
But fearing it’s too late

White knuckles
White knuckles
White knuckles

Do not question why, don’t try to explain
There is no solution, to living with this pain
Can’t retire the message, coursing through the brain
The power of imagination that you can’t restrain

White knuckles
White knuckles
White knuckles

Can’t replace the angst
Can’t undo the fear
The clock is counting down
The end is getting near

Immobile with the tension
Staring into space
Hoping for serenity
But can’t escape this place

(Chorus x 2)
White knuckles
White knuckles
White knuckles
White knuckles
White knuckles
White knuckles

About the original songs
In January 2012 I commenced a goal of trying to write and record at least one song from scratch each month – sometimes it comes easily, sometimes it’s a real challenge, but I love the discipline it creates. I managed to complete the year, but it was so much fun that I’ve decided to keep it rolling for as long as I can.


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