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We began our journey with every intention of setting the world on fire with our vision and energy, only to find that things didn’t materialize as we’d imagined. There were many disappointments that resulted in Emerson spiraling into despair. Around the second or third year of our adventure, we noticed a pattern of behavior emerging. Frustration resulted in lowered expectations. Anticipating that things wouldn’t work out usually meant that they didn’t.

This song was written in a fit of frustration when Emerson realized how often he sabotaged his own possibilities.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


Footsteps on the staircase
Wake me from my sleeping
Listening my heart races
Was I merely dreaming?
Do I dare ask—someone there

In my night
Disturbing favorite places
Much too close for comfort
Disrupting private spaces

Waiting just outside
Invented strangers pry
Distracting, trespassing my privacy
Standing by the door
Often without notice
Watching, waiting, Imposing
Constantly trying to get in

Footsteps on the sidewalk
Take me from my writing
Listening my heart pauses
Did I just imagine
Strange sound
No one found

In my life
I raid my favorite places
Ignoring best intentions
Diverting true direction

I hear footsteps

My own footsteps

My worst enemy is always me


from Swinging Statues, track released January 1, 2004
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Tom Tomasello - Producer/Arranger
Jim Bruno - Vocal producer
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering


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Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
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