Deconstructing Garth Brooks

Music can fill us with many emotions, and occasionally serve as a great motivator.  I was listening to an old song called The River, released by Garth Brooks in 1992 on his album Ropin the Wind.  Says Garth about the song, 

"Of all songs, most of the letters I receive concern "The River." It is a song of inspiration... a song that I will be proud of a hundred years from now."  

The River is a song about a following your dreams, and I thought it would be cool to deconstruct it and extract all of it's inspiration.  Here it goes! (p.s. deconstruction is in BOLD):

"The River"

You know a dream is like a river, ever changin' as it flows - life is ever-changing and unpredictable

And a dreamer's just a vessel that must follow where it goes - the realities of life are inescapable, unpredictable, and ever-changing  

Trying to learn from what's behind you and never knowing what's in store - a wise person tries to learn from their past and embrace their future - even if it's uncertain

Makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores - life's unpredictability and challenges makes it tough to stay on course


I will sail my vessel 'Til the river runs dry - even though life's unpredictable and challenging, I will never give in, I will never give up, I will keep on keeping on

Like a bird upon the wind these waters are my sky - I will embrace these challenges and not resist where they take me knowing there's a master plan

I'll never reach my destination if I never try - I will try and give it 110%

So I will sail my vessel 'Til the river runs dry - again, even though life's unpredictable and challenging, I will never give in, I will never give up, I will keep on keeping on

Too many times we stand aside and let the waters slip away - most people stand by and let life happen to them instead gettin after it

'Til what we put off 'til tomorrow has now become today - how many times have you said you'd do something and never started it?

So don't you sit upon the shoreline and say you're satisfied - don't settle for mediocre or average; don't settle for anything less than what you set our to accomplish

Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide - you are in control of your actions, no one else, so choose to meet the challenge and dare to accomplish your dreams

There's bound to be rough waters and I know I'll take some falls chasing your dreams won't be easy, and you'll fail quite a bit

But with the good Lord as my captain I can make it through them all - but when I fail or become discouraged, I will draw close to the One who can strengthen me to help me persevere ("For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength" - Philippians 4:13)

So what are the takeaways?

  • Be couragious enough to dream, and determined enough to chase them
  • Even though life's realities are inescapable, don't let that deter you
  • Learn from past failures and charge ahead
  • Be comfortable being uncomfortable as life has many turns
  • Don't stand by like the house on the side of the road, get in the game
  • Never give up, never give in
  • Don't procrastinate, don't put things off 
  • Don't settle for average
  • Draw close to the One who plans everything

Sources: Wikipedia;