CBC Songwriting Contest and the inspiration of Lynn Miles and CASP

Weight by Larry Pegg

Weight was written and recorded on October 14th, 2012 in my hotel room while attending the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) National Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario and it was entered into the CBC Lynn Miles Song Writing Contest that same day. This downloadable version was recorded on my Mac laptop using the on-board mic. Although Weight is an uplifting and hopeful song, tears were falling on my laptop and my guitar as I worked and those uncontrollable tears are now recorded in this version. Those tears were for my beautiful daughter lost 5 years ago to suicide and for those others that we’ve lost. Those tears were also for more, much more, and if you’d like to know more, you can keep reading.

Although Weight did not officially win the contest, it did finish top 5 and it won hearts and minds, providing me and others with a chance to get the music and the message out. This is a start, not an end.

Congratulations to ERIN SAOIRSE ADAIR and Dean Watson for their collaboration on the winning song. You are fine artists and deserve this recognition. Also, thanks to all the songwriters (approximately 65) that participated. I hope to be there this Friday Oct. 26th along with some of my peeps to cheer you at the victory performance and to celebrate Lynn.

How did Weight Unfold?
Per the contest guidelines, songwriters were tasked with using Lynn’s lyric line “It is the desperation of a late-night telephone call” from her song “Loneliness”. This lyric provided the perfect line to help me unleash my feelings of anger and pain, pent up for many years after the loss of my daughter in December 2007. Weight also gave me a chance for bringing light. I hope you will feel this light.

For context, I met Lynn for the first time only a few weeks after my loss, and a few times since, and she has been caring and gracious, and this connection and the timing of this chapter in my my life has become part of the energy for me. Did Lynn write this for me? No, but let’s just pretend that Lynn is channelling our innermost needs and let’s celebrate her for the artist that she has become. Thank you Lynn.

“Stepping out from the Darkness”
The theme for this years CASP Conference was “Stepping out from the Darkness” and it could not be a more appropriate theme as there is darkness for those lost to suicide and to many of those that are left behind, the survivors. I am a survivor, and even after almost 5 years, I’m suffering intensely, PTSD, depression are now familiar and through music, healthy eating, good friends and physical activity, I’m trying to get by . It s no secret that many survivors will carry the scars of their losses forever. These scars can be unbearable and often hidden. WE all need to try to be brave and step out from the darkness. That means try your best to find a path to communicating. Don’t hide. Reach Out!

About the Song/Lyrics?
We all carry weight, and there are times when we feel crushed by the burden of it and darkness can become frightening and unbearable. We are all part of the puzzle in a difficult world. For survivors, their world has broken apart. Dreams and families often shattered. We too need to Step out of the Darkness, so my objective with this song (and soon others to come) is to try and help those that have lost hope to reach out and at least to find some comfort in and through the music. The lyrics can be viewed by clicking the link.

How to Reach Out?
If you’re feeling the weight of suffering, my message is to ask you to wait, and to consider the crushing burden that your survivors will carry forever if you don’t. You are needed. You are loved. You matter. Reach Out!

Please step out from the darkness and find someone, anyone, who will listen to your story. If you don’t have someone close, then reach out to the compassionate networks of caring people in your community. They are trained and they want to help. You can find these services in your community. Perhaps listening to this song is a start? If you need help, for yourself or a friend or loved one, you can call, or text, or find an online Crisis Chat service. Just wait…there can be and will be another day if you try. I know it isn’t easy.

Finally, thanks to Lynn Miles for her 25 years of songwriting and for the inspiration with the opening lyric/line of Weight. You deserve this celebration. You have an incredible gift. Thank you. And thank you for sharing it.

One more thing! Your download purchase of Weight including any royalties through radio play etc. will see 100% of those funds going to support Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.