Notes & lyrics for Song Sessions Vol. 1

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J.G. Boccella

I’ve Come a Long Way

This song is a true story. It really was twenty years ago that I left Providence, and, in returning to finish my undergraduate degree at Brown, I really have come a long way – literally and metaphorically. I tend to write songs about social issues, and so I wanted to shift gears and write a personal song. My hope is that, even though this song tells a very personal story, it will have a universal appeal. This song is about second chances, gratitude, wonder, possibility and optimism. I believe that the passage of time can temper us, if we let it, and give us a deeper appreciation for life. However, I also believe that if we do not humble ourselves and allow Life to work on us, the passage of time can make us bitter.

From a strictly musical perspective: I was listening to one of my very favorite songs, Brown-Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, as I was writing, “I’ve Come a Long Way.” As a songwriter I have always wanted to capture the elements of my favorite songs by other artists and try to express a similar energy in my own songs. However, that process has always felt so mysterious and amorphous. Dean Bergeron’s and Professor Rovan’s course challenged me to think differently about how to break down a song, that is, how to identify and quantify the musical patterns of a song, to see what makes it tick. In the end, things that I never used to pay much attention to in my favorite songs revealed themselves to be very quantifiable characteristics that I could then extrapolate and apply to my own songs.


I've Come a Long Way — J.G. Boccella

It's cold outside
It's been awhile
And I know I've come here for a reason
I walk outside into the streets on this occasion
I love the changing of the season

It's cold outside
But that's alright 'cause
This time things are different…

I've come a long way
I've come a long way

I remember when I left here
It was twenty years ago
I was so lost then and I was hurtin'
But I didn't even know it
And now I'm back here and the air is so clear
And it's time to celebrate
It took such a long time just to get here
Yes, I've come a long way

I've come a long way
I've come a long way

I walk down these streets and now I'm walking with a purpose
I stop and see the sun on the churches
Orange leaves and memories my favorite trees on Benefit Street
And the red bricks and the history not just me
Fascination so alive imagination wonderment at the sensation

Things are possible again thanks to family and friends
Brothers who were yet to be discovered Grace and healing forces
This joy is a wave the magnitude of the gratitude blows me away
I look into, I look out to, I look forward to the day

Looking into my daughter's eyes … so present in this moment … every
day is a surprise she's so wise
What a gift she is, what a gift this life, this precious moment, this
precious time
Where I've been and where I'm going but most importantly - where I am
right now

I've come a long way
And it's so good to be back on this new day
I've come a long way
It's good to be here
We've come a long way … and now we're making history …

(c) 2008 J.G. Boccella