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This song was written at a time when we had just started the web site for Uncommon Promise, and were trying our best to finish the details and get it “up and running,” as we had imagined for so long. What was of utmost importance to us was to get our work “out into the world” once and for all. Life got a bit frantic as we tried to resolve issues that seemed utterly resistant to resolution.

In the early days of our journey we shared our plans and ideas with Em's parents, who didn't quite understand. As he spoke, Emerson became quite agitated. Finally, his dad took both of Em’s arms in his hands, looked him straight in the eye with compassion and said, “Just relax.” It was unforgettable.

We remembered that moment, just when we seemed to sink deeper into frustration with the process. That was exactly what we needed. Rather than approaching everything as another task, or obstacle to overcome, we just had to find a way to “settle down” and relax into the world.

We decided to broaden the metaphor of “parental advice” to a story capturing similar memories of our individual childhoods. When we were young we were each told in a clear and stern parental voice to “settle down.” Of course, this happened when we seemed to be getting overly excited, anxious or out of control. We laughed as we remembered that we had done the same thing with our own children.

This story definitely helped us move through that temporary period. A little song and story here and there can go a long way to calm the frantic mind.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


Just settle down, my mother said
It’s funny how some words stay in your head
And even though I tried, I found over and over
In spite of all my trying, I don’t know how
To be satisfied
Just settle down
Take only one day at a time
Without losing ground

I look for something I can’t seem to get my hands on
Second-guessing, asking where I went wrong
While standing firm I keep all of my options open
Wondering whether to stop or just move on

To someday when I’ll be calm
Someday I’ll be the one to be contented
One day I’ll mend all of my ways
Then at last I will finally settle down
Be satisfied

As time goes by, Somehow I find
My mother’s words are still on my mind
And with each passing day, surely sooner or later
Because of all my trying I’ll find a way
To be satisfied
Just settle down
Take only one day at a time
Without losing ground

Getting closer every day
I will find my way
Someday there will come a time
When at long last
I’ll be satisfied
And settle down


from Settle Down, track released March 1, 2007
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
Mr Toad's San Francisco - Mastering
Inspiration - Harry Martlage "just relax."


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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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