HeartSongs — 45, Shinedown

Liner Notes
from the 2003 album ‘Leave a Whisper’

Lyric to remember

In a box, high up on the shelf, left for you, no one else/
There’s a piece of a puzzle known as life, wrapped in guilt, sealed up tight.


“The box is your memories, the things in your life you’ve kept very close like a diary.” But you know with songwriting the word diary did not fit, I needed something more dramatic and that’s where the box came from. You can put your memories in this box and pull it down when you need to remember but there’s a certain time in life when you have to let the box go. You don’t forget it but you got to let it go to move on.”  

Brent Smith, lead singer, Shinedown

The Story of the Song

Man, let me tell you, there are times when a song just reaches right into the depths of your darkness and grasps ahold of you as you sit in a water-covered silence, yanking you back to the surface and forcing you to take in sharp lungfuls of cold air you never thought you’d welcome into your body again.

45 can hit you on so many levels. It’s one of those songs that reaches you wherever you are — good days, bad days, sunshine or inky blackness — and feeds you a message to let you know, “Hey brother. I’m right there with you.”

Tonight, it’s the image of the box high up on a shelf that’s got me by the shoulders and is forcing me to stare at its stark reality, that we’ve all got a past, a past shaped not just by us and not just in our lifetime, a past that you can put away but can never really be free from. It’s there, always there, even if it’s collecting dust, and as much as you try to ignore it, forget it, it’s there… there…. there.

A puzzle is never finished without its missing piece. And tonight, what this song is screaming to me is that sometimes it’s better to leave an incomplete puzzle alone rather than risk finding out what that missing piece reveals.

B. Goode is by no means a music critic and has zippo in the way of actual music theory education. He is simply a fan of music who loves delving into why songs are made, why they’re made when they’re made, and why they’re made by whom they’re made.

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