Sold Out: The Story Behind The Song
It’s part of the reason I love horror movies and hate dramas. Horror is cut throat. To the point. None of that emotional crap in-between.
See, I sort of have this annoying knack for connecting to people and their emotions.
For instance, let’s say someone I know loses someone. I’ll actually get the physical, gut wrenching, empty feeling associated with the loss, and I may not have even known the person at all.
I connect to the emotion, so I sometimes react in the same way they would.
I’ve learned I should just pick up a pen instead. Some people don’t understand my weirdness.
But every song I write, or in this case co-write, is based on an emotional experience, whether it be mine or someone else’s.
Sold was a mix of both.
The Writers' Magic
Back in 2005 I was blessed to sit in a room in my Uncle Rodney’s basement (the best uncle in the world…who else would let a band rehearse in their basement every week???) with two of my favorite people in the world, Janell M. and Camia R.
We sat in the room with pens and pads listening to the band jam.
I can’t remember exactly how it happened, but I think Mia started humming this catchy melody. It blossomed into the hook for Sold.
Once we had the concept Janell and I finished almost simultaneously with a written verse in hand.
We made some tweaks to the melody and Sold (then called Sold Out) was born!
The True Story
The lyrics in the first verse were written by Janell. Her story started out being about someone who left a friend behind for the love of money.
That perfectly resonated with my end of the story.
My verse, verse 2, was about looking back on the mistakes I’d made, figuring out why I became the left behind friend.
I can remember the words just pouring out onto the paper.
I’d recently ended a long time friendship with not one girlfriend…but FOUR close friends.
At the time I felt a huge hole in my life. I kept thinking about what I thought about friendship vs. what I’d learned about friendship.
My baby told me you were this way, but I thought maybe that you would change. Dana Parker
Sometimes getting close to a new man ruins the girlfriend vibe. It just does.
When money is thrown in the picture all hell runs loose.
The two verses together really summed up how I was feeling about the situation.
Fast forward ten years and I’m finally recording the song!
If only I had a camera up when I was singing those jokers!! Lol!
I think I sang those bad boys from start to finish without stopping. I came back to do some tweaking, but I didn’t change a thing.
I really felt this song while singing it.
At the bridge I can remember singing the words we were inseparable and feeling like I might be saying too much, but the next line came out sooner than I could blink.
I miss you like crazy but I see that you’re…long gone. Dana Parker
It was like a brick hit my chest. I’d sang it, not knowing I was going to say those words, and it made the reality of the story resurface.
That’s when I came up with the “jam session” for the bridge, where I could just cry it out.
I decided I’d let the drums and guitar play randomness while I sing-cried. It was a pivotal moment in the song for me. I wasn’t sure anyone would get it, but it didn’t matter. I knew what it meant.
All the chaos of the music was the emotional roller-coaster I was on, and the cries were of me trying to get it all out. But the ones I wish could hear me, don’t.
For the rest of the song I recorded my adlibs with no background vocals playing. I just…sang.
Every word I sang was what I felt in the moment. In a word? Abandoned.
After all that we’ve been through this just ain’t how it’s supposed to be.Dana Parker
I wish I could tell you what really happened between my friends and I. I can’t because…well…I don’t understand it my damn self. I just know it was for a reason. Maybe just so I could sing this song.
Cheers to emotional roller-coaster bridges and inspiring ad-libs!