Whoa whoa, wakin’ up late again the alarm never ends
Anxiety has got a grip on me and what am I gonna wear?
I’m panicking, is anything clean?
Didn’t sleep, not a wink, now I’m strugglin’
She’ll want me to be home early to eat her chili… and take the baby!

CHORUS
It’s an E-MER-GEN-CY
It’s an E-MER-GEN-CY

I get my coffee on, I grind it on my own (whoa)
I love the smell of the fresh bean and caffeine (oooo)
I’m walkin’ out the door, this day couldn’t be more perfect as I drive away
Reach down to grab my drink, and feelin’ my heart sink

I left it on the counter!

Hey honey?
Ye-es?
Will you just put something on?
I did!
You look great!
… You’re full of it.
You’ve already tried that one on, just please… put the blue one on.
Nope, it makes my shoulders look big.
Uggghhhhhh!

CHORUS

When are we gonna learn to take it slow?
It’s impossible to grow in this busyness
I’m breathin’ in, I’m breathin’ out
There’s no emergency I’ve found
Send the ambulance home, I will not go

*Instrumental

When you lay down at night know everything is gonna be alright
And baby when you don’t get your way don’t you quit and run away
Don’t call 911 instead of having fun (whoa)

CHORUS

(Now on to the story of why we wrote this song…)

 

I (Joel) had at least three inspirations to write this song.

Inspiration #1

I have a fascination with the musical intervals popping up in the soundtracks of our lives. The interval that caught my attention this time was that of an ambulance siren.

Most of the time we let the sounds and notes in our day pass us by, thinking of music as only that which is organized. Think about the noise a siren makes. I bet you can hear it in your head. Besides it being very loud and accompanied by bright lights, what else do you hear? The sound is part squeal, part honk and sounds exactly like a warning or an emergency. Why is this?

Well, the musical interval of most sirens is what is called a tritone (TRY-tohn). That is because it is the result of three whole steps in a scale. This interval used to be called “The Devil’s Interval” because of the extreme dissonance and unsettling sound it makes.

So, I thought there might be a way to use this interval in a song and make it not so bad…

There are many moments in Emergency where I used this interval. The first six notes of piano in this track outline the tritone interval, as well as the first three notes in the chorus. Truth is, you don’t need to know music theory to hear the similarity between a tritone and a siren. Now that I’ve turned you on to this inside information, you may want to go check it out!

Inspiration #2

In the past five years I have noticed how we over-exaggerate our present condition. It is easy for us to blow most things out of proportion, simply because we have lost touch with reality. (Don’t get me started)

This song to me is a reminder that 90% of moments where we sound the alarm really aren’t a proper emergency.

Think about the last emergency you experienced…

Was there blood? Was every second a moment between life and death? Did you die?

In the verses of this song, Alyssa and I tried to paint pictures of common emergencies most people encounter. When you’re in the heat of battle, there’s a lot your mind can make up to inflame your perspective. Here’s a truth: It’s only funny when we’re looking back on a crisis moment.

Inspiration #3

Sara (mic drop) Bareilles.

Oh how Land in Hand wishes to write songs like she does. I remember when her album Little Voice came out in 2007 and I just so happened to receive a Barnes & Noble gift card as one of my HS graduation gifts. So, I went down to the Bismarck, ND location (pretty swanky and new at the time) and decided I wouldn’t leave the store until I had spent that gift card.

But I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to buy a book.

So, near the front, by the cash registers, was a swiveling display of CDs. It was mostly new music and plenty of it was unfamiliar to me. But, I looked at one album cover and it spoke to me.

little voice

Maybe I had a crush on her. Maybe I was desiring some secular music (the forbidden fruit?) Maybe I just knew she would be the pop voice I was waiting to hear. A true musician rising from the clutter of over-produced, poorly written, aural garbage. Side note: today you can buy this CD from Walmart for $3.79. What is this, 1912? I paid at least $14.99 in 2007.

I digress…

Alyssa and I knew we needed a peppy song that would lift the feeling of our album a bit. So, we intentionally picked a faster tempo before writing the track. My piano stylings were pulled heavily from what Sara does on Track #1 Love Song. Yes, you’ve heard it. I know, it’s not quite as cool as hers, but give me a few years.

The ending of our track Emergency is my harmonic attempt at mimicking the doppler effect as an ambulance drives away from you and the pitch seems to go lower and slower. Yeah, I’m a bit of a music geek.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy it and get a few laughs along the way.

Jam on,
Joel

 

PS. Last night we had a real sleep emergency. Josie (our 5 month old) had some serious congestion and couldn’t breathe through her nose. So, Alyssa was up with her constantly, trying to console her. I was even brought in for back-up a few times. But, with the sunrise this morning we all recovered.

I’m breathin’ in, I’m breathin’ out, there’s no emergency I’ve found.