May 1 2015

James Grey,


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After his upset loss in the ring, the boxer was asked by a reporter “what happened to your fight plan?”. He replied “ Everybody has a plan until they get hit.”

When life hits me hard, sometimes I forget what I learned as a child.

And when I’m out of sorts, if I take pause and meditate on each line of this song, it helps me back up.


Row, row, row your boat,

Gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

Life is but a dream.


“Row, row, row your boat”

Row MY boat. Not YOUR boat. But sometimes I want to row YOUR boat. I think that if I jump into YOUR boat and row it then my boat will reach my desired destination. It doesn’t work…. keep rowing MY boat. Keep rowing. Don’t stop. Sometimes it’s hard to keep rowing when I don’t see the way.

“Gently down the stream”

GENTLY? But I’m a pedal to the medal, let go to get a better grip kind of a guy! That’s how winners win, right? Ah, that would be no…. Gently DOWN the stream, not up the stream. Let life’s natural current, unfolding circumstances, empower and guide me. Sometimes it helps by imagining myself wildly paddling upstream against surging rapids to realize my self will run riot.

“Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily”

But isn’t life a serious business? Anything worth having is hard to get, right? The beatings will continue until morale improves, right? Joy will introduce itself when I’m worthy to meet it, right? Wow – where did I get this bad information?

No…. I can go from this to that and still be present in each moment. I can have my entire year booked solid and still be relaxed and take each day as it comes. A light touch… Give life a light touch….


“Life is but a dream”

Here is where the spiritual rubber meets the road for me. I spell Faith T-R-U-S-T. Sometimes I see life as a harsh math equation, with God the merciless tutor. I am that tortured student frantically pulling my hair out at the midnight grease board, madly erasing my last best formula proven wrong. If only I were smarter I would figure this life stuff out. I have come to call this state of mind what it is… self abuse.


But when I see life as a dream, it’s easy to see why it baffles the brightest of mathematicians. Where the hopeless learn to hope again. Lives are restored. The ordinary achieve the extraordinary. The last become the first. Dreams go from the unseen to the seen, when all seemed lost, against all odds. And grace weaves tragedies into a beautiful tapestry.


They say no one is closer to their creator than a child with wide-eyed wonder. I say we can find our way back there anytime we want, even in our big boy and girl clothes. I don’t know about you, but when I can get back to that state of mind, I am ageless.


Yes, this may seem like a childish spin on a children’s song. But just between you and I, just give it a try. The next time you find yourself out of sorts again, think about the lyric, and sing along with me. We can even get a round going. Remember those?

James Grey is a Songwriter, Musician, Producer, Business Development Specialist, Personal Trainer, and Student of Life.