On Your Side
By Justin Rosolino and Rob Seals
About the song:
I was twenty, a student in college. It was a southern school, but still I retained my New York accent, leather jacket and Vinny Babarino haircut. Anyway, I met this music professor named Mr. Mead through a friend of mine. He was 80 years old, a legend in the department, a bottomless pit of talent and wisdom and southern refinement. And I was a punk who played guitar. Needless to say, the last thing I expected from him was friendship. Condescending advice, sure. Disapproval and alienation, that would've made sense. Quite frankly, he intimidated the heck out of me. Initially I just tried staying out of his way - I'd offer him little non-revealing comments and pleasantries that I thought would keep him at a safe distance. But he made a point of smashing my comfort zone and deliberately befriending me - not because he needed me or could benefit from me in any way, but because he befriended me, simple as that. He knew what he was getting out of the deal, and he wanted in anyway. In retrospect, I think of his friendship as a perfect metaphor for grace; this sort of notion of a prodigal son who's young, foolish and arrogant, and the unconditionally loving father who offers love to his son anyway.
This is in open D tuning (D A D F# A D) with a capo on the 5th fret, same as
One Single Thread. I love using chords up in the higher frets when playing
in this tuning - they sound so open and spacious.
When I remember how first I came to know and see your life in mine
You stood before so open wide as I walked on by
Like separate seasons in time, our lives they seem to look so different to
the world outside
My hands were empty with yearning ,but oh, you didn't mind
Could I find a certain friendship in this old man's distant eyes
What would he want from me, the lost apprentice, so far behind,
But he whispered, "I'm on Your Side"
And when he listens he holds me, with patience that I failed to notice, hand
in time-worn hand
His wisdom fortress, he will gladly surrender to me, and then I'll
The humble pupil he will teach me through the bellows of my mind
And I will learn this ancient craft called living as I see wonder through
Then he'll whisper, "stay by my side"
And I have never gone this way
Am I a young distraction in the way?
If I could only understand all the mystery of my life as it's reflected
Through the oceans of his eyes, and as it's filtered through his heart and
through his mind,
And as I see things, as I see things, when I'm by his side
When I remember these two in time
It's been such a long, long time, but still inside the yearning lies;
And there are times I swear that love is simply listening to a younger
And it took time for me to hear the silent thunder of the message in his
As he whispered "I'm on your side," as the years roll by, until the end of