Amy Speace, a singer-songwriter just trying to make do | WBEZ
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Amy Speace, a singer-songwriter just trying to make do

Originally aired Friday, March 27, 2015

I live in East Nashville, Tennessee, a bohemian neighborhood in Music City right across the Cumberland River from downtown that, for many years, has been home to one of the most diverse populations in this city. Bisected by Gallatin Pike, where an über-trendy coffee shop might sit in between a discount liquor store and a check-cashing shop, this area is peppered with quaint cottage homes that only a short time ago were affordable to the artist class.

In the last five years, we've seen an explosion here in development downtown, and that has crept across the river to East Nashville as well, with the smaller homes being bulldozed as quickly built condos and larger homes take their place. The artist class is yielding to the nouveau riche hipster.

A little more than a year ago, the owner of the home I’d been renting for five years gave me a month’s notice to buy the place or find someplace new. I started the process of looking into buying a home of my own for the first time, which was daunting.

I did find a house I could afford and, with the help of a generous friend, we entered into a rent-to-own situation. For that I am extremely grateful. I am a single woman in my mid-40s. I am a musician. I do not have a “day job.” This is my day job. And I make a living at my art, which is a dream fulfilled.

But many of us working-class musicians, painters, artists and writers live a precarious financial existence of our own choosing. When I got together with Neilson Hubbard, a writer and producer, to write a song about a financial turning point, it was easy for us to look around and at ourselves and find our subject matter.

The song "Spent" is available for download on iTunes, or listen to the audio player above for a preview.

SPENT

Come take my hand let’s walk to the end of this rainbow

Do you think that we’ll ever know

Where to find all that gold

Once I heard someone singing a dream we could have and hold

Something of our own

A place to call home

We’re head over heels

And in over our heads

We borrow and steal to pay the rent

How we gonna save any money when it’s already spent

Years keep rolling the houses keep falling like dominoes per writer

They’re throwing up condos

The new for the old

It’s not enough to hear your own song on the radio

When your credit is far below

What they need for a loan

We’re head over heels

And in over our heads

We borrow and steal to pay the rent

How we gonna save any money when it’s already spent

Can we stay or do we have to go

Could this be the end of the road

How we gonna save any money

We’re head over heels

And in over our heads

We borrow and steal to pay the rent

How we gonna save any money when it’s already spent

  • Amy Speace/Neilson Hubbard copyright 2015, Speace Monster Music (Ascap), Plastic Bird Music (BMI)

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