• Digital Track
    Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $1 USD  or more

    You own this



We were having a typical farewell dinner with friends who were heading back to the States. After several hours, Em expressed his frustrations about all of the wealth in the world, high salaries, time spent on seemingly wasteful and meaningless things—and at the same time, we had committed a life (8 years and counting) to creating something heartfelt and sincere, yet couldn’t even sell one $15 CD.

Our friend was very empathetic and we both felt bad later as we left them at their hotel. Not a great send-off. The next day Em did some soul-searching about why we do what we do, and decided that his egoic outbursts (not the first time) had to stop. The ego is a jealous, self-righteous, argumentative self—the false self. We concluded that we either live this life and create our stories for our own internal reasons and rewards or we should stop. "Real work in the real world” holds the keys to monetary reward and public recognition. We either want that or not. Decision time.

The next day we restated our commitment to “stay the course” no matter what! An unfortunate initial conversation turned into an important new awareness for Em. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


Here to stay
Despite whatever I might say
Trying times
All the way through empty rhymes

No matter how the world may try and trouble me
I’m here to stay
Left alone with only one simple question
Who else can I be

Here to stay
Even if you should turn away
Weary times
Far beyond and between the lines

Though I feel swept aside at times, could lose my way
I’m here to stay

In view of all things
There is a song to sing
I have my part to play, that
Only I bring

What I must bear in mind
Each role is well-defined
This is the only way
Nothing to find

So I’m here to stay
Whatever happens, come what may
Tempered times
I’ve had my share of taking sides

So for today and always I will carry on
I’m here to stay
There is no reason to change my mind
I’m here to stay

Here to stay


from Toward the Light, track released January 1, 2008
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering


all rights reserved



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
... more

contact / help

Contact Cheryl and Emerson Martlage

Streaming and
Download help