by Benji Magness
Shane Smith and the Saints just released a new single “It’s Been Awhile” ahead of their forthcoming album “Norther” (dropping March 1st).
“It’s Been Awhile” captures the universal sadness and desire of the human heart to “go home.”
“I’m gonna take a train back to Texas
Freight-liner, won’t you call my name
Cause it’s been a while
Yeah, it’s been a while
Since I’ve seen your face”
Several years in the making (‘cause sometimes songs need time to “cook”), this is the tale of a man who misses his love, misses his home, but can’t scrape together enough cash to get there. So much for being a rock star. Shane says:
“l’d started this song years and years ago, during a very low point of touring. There were many moments of desperation to be back home, without having the means or money to get there. The lyrics here are derived straight from that time, but can often times still continue to hit home for us now.”
“It’s Been Awhile” is really a prayer, like a psalm in the Old Testament, like something King David would utter in desperation.
“So turn the wheels at the quickest of time
Put the wind on my back, send me right down the line
Before she is gone, it won’t be long”
This is a train station lament for home. The wear and tear of the road, being broke (and broke down), the loneliness, the sleepless nights, the “glory” of being a rock star- none of that compares to “home.”
Why? Because home is where we really are who we are. It’s where we find our identity because it’s where our identity started. It’s like that verse in the Bible, in the book of Hebrews, that says Abraham was looking beyond the promised land in Canaan to the City to come, Heaven itself:
“By faith Abraham went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” Hebrews 11:9-10
Abraham understood “life on the road.” Though not a rock star by any means, he felt the wear and tear of this life. He felt the ache for his real home. And that ache is the undertow of what Shane Smith sings. His longing for Texas, longing to see his wife, longing to be home is just the echo of the ache that we all have for Home.
*Pre-order “Norther” by Shane Smith and the Saints here: https://orcd.co/norther