Short In the Wire

from by Cheryl and Emerson Martlage

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Cheryl characterized Em's moodiness as a “short in the wire” and he is suddenly out of commission. His unpredictability had essentially shut down all our collaboration.

Cheryl finally admitted to him that she really missed writing lyrics and that it was an important part of her personal self-expression. That was big news for Em because he always felt like he was driving everything. But, if Cheryl's creative expression was at stake, how could he deny her?

Em had always seen her lyrics as the essential poetry they shared, and that the music was really just the carrier. Allowing Cheryl's creative spark to flourish, actually took away Em's perceived burden of being the driver.

It was a real turning point in our working style together, and our relationship, especially in the tougher times.


Just before my head clears
Right before my eyes slowly adjust to the light
There’s an uneasy feeling I’ve lost my way
That I shouldn’t be here

Maybe I was asleep
Right before my bare feet touch the cold floor
There’s that feeling again: I don’t belong
That I shouldn’t be here

Seems like it was only yesterday
No one could stop me
There was nothing in my way

Walking on air, how lucky could I get
Everybody—a friend I hadn’t met
As good as it gets

Only hope I don’t wake up from this dream
Life somehow is not quite what it seems
I just don’t want to fall

Then there’s a short in the wire
And I notice the spark is cold to my touch
There’s an uneasy feeling I’ve lost my way
Gone completely astray
I’m falling again
Trying hard to hold on
Find out just where I belong


from Layers, track released June 17, 2011
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage - Music, guitar and vocals
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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