Singer/Songwriter Mabilene Shares Her Journey to “The Other Side”

Born and raised in East Texas, Jenny Weaver (Known professionally as Mabilene) combines her passion for the classics with a bright, modern pop sensibility and lyrics of truth.

Along with a first listen to “The Other Side,” the singer/songwriter exclusively shares the story behind her song in her own words. The new song is the title track of her debut album, due out Nov. 19. (Pre-order The Other Side HERE)

In the wake of the 2016 election, my band and I found ourselves increasingly at odds. Differences that we had managed for years were becoming unmanageable. Into 2017 and 2018 we made it work, but the troubles were growing and every day brought another polarizing news item into our consciousness. Anxiety mounted and the future seemed uncertain. As a country and as a band, it felt as though our ship was on shaky seas. Everywhere I looked we were becoming increasingly engrossed in our phones, and it felt like online narratives were beginning to co-opt our personal realities. The tumultuous waves felt inescapable. How could we create harmony in an environment so increasingly at odds? A storm was brewing. So many systems were no longer working personally and in the world around us. How could we come together to transform them?

I found myself pulled into a period of deep contemplation that brought about seismic shifts. I decided to make some big moves and to invest all I could to make the band work. (Spoiler alert: In the end, we parted ways, and I began performing as Mabilene.) 

We had a long tour booked, so there were a few months that I was adrift between one life and the next; between one home and another. I was tethered to so many friends and dreams. I could feel the bridges that had been constructed between us. There was always a way back. I began thinking of that journey from me to you; from one soul to another. As tends to happen, I found myself singing the chorus to a new song and then recording it in my phone memos. In a world full of increasing division and disaster, how could we see the other side with enough compassion and clarity to build a bridge? There’s a Rumi quote I kept coming back to—“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” 

One night, I woke up at 3 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I grabbed my phone and wrote a bunch of lyrics into the notes app. The themes which had been looping in my head for months had crystallized. I had a rehearsal with my good buddy Don Gallardo. A few days later he was joining us on tour. We sat down with the tune and finished it together with him offering up the bridge lyric, If you’re sick and tired of that tightrope wire, meet me on the other side. It felt like a call to move through the fear surrounding difficult conversations. When we self-censor due to the need to get it exactly right—when we constantly fear retribution or ostracization, the day-to-day can start to feel like a high-wire balancing act. 

In deciding which songs to include on the record, what to title it, and what tracks should be singles, I kept coming back to this one because I believe wholeheartedly in its message. Most of us live in the gray—in the paradox. And we need to find a way to move out of our extreme polarization; to live together while transforming that which no longer serves us. ‘The Other Side’ is both an invitation and a call to action. I sing this song in the spirit of Woody Guthrie who used songwriting to transform the political into the sing-a-long. In a landscape where it seems women are meant to stay in their lane and sing about their love life while looking young and hot, I’m joining trailblazing friends and (s)heroes who are stepping outside of our fear, standing in values and leading with love.

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Pre-order The Other Side HERE

The Other Side (lyrics)

(songwriters: Jenny Weaver & Don Gallardo)

My my my these are dark dark lonely times
The aching down in your gut
All of the voices you can’t shut
Out of your mind
Make for dark dark lonely times

Well, you give it your best shot while the floorboards split and rot
Our ship’s on shaky seas
We’ve created storms from our disharmony
Can’t see the light
Can’t see the light
In our dark dark lonely times

Won’t you meet me? Won’t you meet me?
Won’t you meet me on the other side?
Won’t you meet me? Won’t you meet me?
Step out of your fear across the great divide

See, it’s not inside your phone
On the screens that fill your home
A voice on the evening news
A losing game of pick and choose
It’s skin and bones
It’s airbrushed clones
Of a vacant, tired lot
It’s time we turn our page and stop

Won’t you meet me? Won’t you meet me?
Won’t you meet me on the other side?
Won’t you meet me? Won’t you meet me?
Step out of your fear across the great divide

If you’re sick & tired of that tight rope wire
Meet me on the other side
If you’re sick & tired of that tight rope wire
Meet me on the other side

Won’t you meet me? Won’t you meet me?
Won’t you meet me on the other side?
Won’t you meet me? Won’t you meet me?
Step out of your fear across the great divide

Photo courtesy Sweetheart Pub

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