The DR Taglines

The taglines for Difficult Run are picked by the DREditors and come from song lyrics. Here’s an inventory of all the past choices, in case you’re curious. (It’s in reverse chronological order, newest first.)

I had another dream, I had another life

October 18, 2019 – ?

This song hooked me immediately when I caught on my Release Radar playlist from Spotify. The lyrics sort of speak for themselves. Here’s the first verse.

Yeah, the face
The face of evil is on the news tonight
We see the darkness over light
But have we ever really lived in better times?
Hey, strange,  they say we’re coming to the end of the line
But is there still a chance to change your mind?
Or have all the colors turned to black and white?

Ever thought from here on in your life begins and all you knew was wrong?

June 15, 2019 – October 18, 2019

Another one from Walker (since no one else seems to want to change it): “Arriving Somewhere But Not Here” by Porcupine Tree. Walker is a prog-rock fan, but he’d never listened to these guys until recently. Their style sounds like the lovechild of Tool and Pink Floyd. Quality stuff.

Lost in the dark, I feel like a shadow of myself

February 26, 2019 – June 15, 2019

Another pick from Walker: “Elevate” by The Winery Dogs. This group was an accidental discovery: one of those YouTube rabbit holes. But it features Mike Portnoy (formerly of Dream Theater) on drums, Billy Sheehan (formerly of Mr. Big and Steve Vai) on bass, and Richie Kotzen (formerly of Poison and Mr. Big) on guitar and vocals.

Hell has no room for your crime here

January 5, 2019 – February 26, 2019

This is Walker’s pick and comes from “No World for Tomorrow” by Coheed and Cambria. Walker was lame and never really listened to C&C until recently, but their progressive post-hardcore style mixed with sci-fi lyrics made him a fan.

Wounds from a friend, severe mercy

July 25, 2018 – January 5, 2019

Nathaniel finally stopped being lame and update the tagline. This one comes from Josh Garrels’ song “The Arrow” from his 2015 album, Home. It’s a great song from a great singer. Here are the lyrics in context, where their meaning is not exactly subtle:

How long did I fool myself
Believing I, I didn’t need nobody’s help
A fool trusts in his power and his wealth
Until he’s brought down low
Unto a shadow of himself

The arrow was sent to intervene
It pierced my bones and shook me from my dream
Lord You know exactly what I need
Wounds from a friend, severe mercy

Tearing at the walls in the corners of my mind.

February 7, 2018 – July 25, 2018

This one comes from Walker. He’s been on an anime kick over the last year and this tagline comes from the song “Re:Re:” by Asian Kung Fu Generation, which was the OP song for the series Erased. This particular line is fudged a little and based on a couple English covers. Google translates it as “cried in the corner of my heart.” Other translations read, “I always tear myself up, crying in the corner of my heart.” Either way, the line is dope.

Beautifully struggle every day.

April 12, 2017 – February 7, 2018

This one comes from Walker. The song is “Sparkle” by Radwimps from the amazing anime film Your Name. The tagline comes from the English version,1 but the video above is the original Japanese. It was picked so that those who haven’t seen the film might be inspired to do so. It’s seriously one of the best films Walker has seen in a long time.

We couldn’t all be cowboys; some of us are clowns.

October 3, 2016 – April 12, 2017

One of the problems with picking the DR taglines is that the times when I hear a line and think, “That’d be a great tagline” and the times when it’s actually time to pick a new tagline don’t always line up. But if I don’t do it right away, I’ll forget. So, when I heard this line in the Counting Crows song “Goodnight Elisabeth” from their Recovering the Satellites album, I had to update it right away. It was just too perfect. So, sad as I was to bump Lecrae after less than a week, he had to go.

Why? Well, most of the taglines are pretty serious, and it was about time for one that wasn’t.

If I fall, I fell in the right direction

September 30, 2016 – October 3, 2016

The only one who can compete with Dustin Kensrue in providing me lyrics to live by is Lacrae. This line comes from the song “Free from It All” off of his Gravity album, and it’s another one of those lines that seems to fuse the best of existentialism–shout into the darkness, create the meaning the world lacks–with the best of Christianity–one day the veneer of chaos will be lifted and a universe of order and meaning will be revealed. Existentialism is for this world. Hope is for the next.

My heart is filled with songs of forever

August 17, 2016 – September 30, 2016

Look, folks, if someone doesn’t intervene, I will probably end up making just about all of the taglines for Difficult Run come from Thrice. Can you blame me? They are, basically, the best.

I can’t hear cause you ain’t talkin bout nuthin

July 26, 2016 – August 17, 2016

These words come from the song “Nuthin” off of Lecrae’s 2014 Anomaly album. It’s “a battle cry for substance in music” (according to Lecrae himself, in the second video.) I won’t say anything to explain it, because you can listen to Lecrae explain it from a show in Hong Kong:

When the song actually starts, however, the audio is pretty terrible. So if you want to hear the song itself (and you should! it’s great!) skip to the last video in this section. Before that, however, here’s one more of Lecrae talking about writing this song:

And now, here’s the track with high-quality audio:

Helping words aren’t always kind.

April 26, 2016 – July 26, 2016

I couldn’t find a better video for Thrice’s song “The Beltsville Crucible” than this one, which is a shame, because it’s a great song, write from the first lyrics: “true friends stab you in the front.” I have a friend who likes to say, “caring is overrated.” He’s right, of course. I don’t think this kind of music would appeal to him, but I’m pretty sure the sentiment would. Caring is nice. Helping is better. And helping doesn’t always feel like kindness on the surface. Sometimes, the truth has to cut before it sets you free. Thus: “you’re more and less than you first had believed / you’ve so much to give and there’s so much you need.”

And, of course, “helping words aren’t always kind.”

Love can mend your life. But love can break your heart.

April 1, 2016 – April 26, 2016

This tagline was chosen by Walker and comes from The Police’s famous song “Message in the Bottle.” The song deals with the feelings of loneliness and alienation, but this particular line has a C.S. Lewis-esque quality to it (see The Four Loves). Plus, Stewart Copeland is a beast on the drums.

You are the ghost of everything that I’m not and I want to be.

December 11, 2015 – April 1, 2016

The lyrics to this song are pretty conventional love lyrics (if you’re a screamo band), but this one particular line has always stood out for me.

We’ll be heroes or ghosts, but we won’t be turned around.

October 7, 2015 – December 11, 2015

This tagline comes from another Thrice track: “Burn the Fleet” off The Alchemy Index, Vol I: Fire.

Why this line? Because it’s awesome, that’s why. Only trouble I had was picking just one snippet from a song that is basically nonstop awesome from start to finish.

In this dark night we stand or fall
We are kings now, or nothing at all
Check your armor; Light up your torch
Touch the flame to the sail before you head for shore.

And we will burn the fleet,
We can never go home;
It’s to victory or under ground.
Burn the fleet, we’ll be heroes or ghosts
But we won’t be turned around.

There are days–lots of days–when I’m not sure why I work so hard. I’m not one of those folks who has one, abiding, passionate focus. The thing I want more than anything, as far as “mortal achievements” goes, is to be a writer. But I’d rather be a good dad and husband than a good writer. So, as far as the image of the passionate genius goes, I fail. The work I’m trying to build is an entire life. And that’s not a work that is really available for public consumption.

When I’m done with it, when I’m done spending whatever time I’ve been allotted by God to create this work, I believe He will go over it with me. He’ll show me what I did right, and where I went wrong, and I’ll see the big picture. I’ll see the finished product. Until then? I’m just a blind man carving by a feel a statue that is too large for me to feel all at once. Songs like this give me a little boost to keep going, chisel in hand, when I’d really rather sit on the sofa and watch tv or go and take a nap.

Fun fact: I actually meant to go with the line “We are kings now, or nothing at all,” but for the entire time I had “We’ll be heroes or ghosts, but we won’t be turned around.” Oh well, I’ll use the line I meant to some time in the future.

Keep that hate on hiatus.

Aug 24, 2015 – Oct 7, 2015

Can’t believe this is the first time that Lecrae made our tagline but I just checked and it is. Definitely won’t be the last. “Put that hate on hiatus” is from the song “I Know” on the album Gravity. Lecrae is awesome for some of the same reasons that Thrice is awesome: unapologetically religious lyrics competing for space in secular spaces instead of cordoned off in some kind of designated Christian ghetto-genre. And that’s exactly what the lyrics in this song are about:

No they thinkin I’m blind
But I just pay them no mind
Yeah I know they be lyin
They misquotin my lines
They like “What you think you doin puttin hope in yo’ rhymes?”
You would think I’m shootin folk or puttin coke in my rhymes
I just give ’em bass for free and push the dopest of lines
Boy you trippin, I know
Cr-Cr-Crae you slippin, I know
I done heard this all before; just sit back enjoy the show
Yeah, I know they go’n hate us
Type they blog up, debate us
They be fishin for attention but don’t know how to bait us
Keep that hate on hiatus

These guys–Lecrae and Thrice–are an inspiration to me. Discipleship is all-encompassing, and so there is no topic that a Christian can’t write about. There’s more to praise than praise music.

Clouds are making way for me.

May 11, 2015 – Aug 24, 2015

Nathaniel picked these lyrics from “Setting Sail, Coming Home,” which is the end theme for one of the greatest video games of all time: Bastion. The soundtrack is incredible. The surrounding lyrics are:

Lie on my back,
Clouds are making way for me
I’m coming home, sweet home

I see your star,
You left it burning for me;
Mother, I’m here.

Welcome to my broken song.

March 24, 2015 – May 11, 2015

Nathaniel picked this one because we haven’t had a Matisyahu lyric yet, and it was time.

And if I close my mind in fear, please pry it open

January 7, 2015 – March 24, 2015

This line, from “The Outlaw Torn” on Metallica’s Load album, also comes from Walker Wright. Nathaniel had to swallow a bit of his anti-Metallica sentiment.

Some will sell their dreams for small desires

Sep 27, 2014 – January 7, 2015

Walker picked this line from the song “Subdivisions” by Rush off their Signals album. I’m sure we’ll be seeing Rush lyrics crop up on DR again in the future.

Who I am is who I want to be.

Aug 24, 2014 – Sep 27, 2014

This one comes from the Reba McEntire song “I’m a Survivor,” and Ro (who picked it) found a live version of the song.

And higher than the heights of what we often think we know.

July 24, 2014 – Aug 24, 2014

Incubus, “Nice to Know You,” Morning View. This is another one comes from Walker, who suggested it a month or more ago but I’ve been out of things. Walker has good taste.

This is a story full of restless nights.

April 24, 2014 – July 24, 2014

It’s not hard to see why I love this song even just by looking at some of the lyrics.

This is a story full of restless nights
Of do or do not ’cause there is no try
Across a decade we flew high and we fell low
And getting up when we’re dragged down is all we’ve known

We were born to be the ones
To show the faithless what we’ve done
And there’s a fire inside
We were born to be the ones
To show the faithless what we’ve done
And there’s a fire inside
It burns like the surface of the sun

Oh yeah, you can expect me to come back to this song again at some point down the road.

Got no patience to search for peace of mind.

March 23, 2014 – April 24, 2014

Got no patience to search for peace of mind.

This one comes from the song “No Excuses” by Alice In Chains, originally on their Jar of Flies album. It’s another pick from Walker. The song is supposedly about guitarist Jerry Cantrell’s relationship with heroin-addicted lead singer Layne Staley. Walker has written at The Slow Hunch about the power behind their music (which was introduced to him by his church youth/Scout leader).

A calculated risk to further bless your name.

February 22, 2014 – March 23, 2014

It’s a miracle that I managed to hold off on a Thrice song this long, and I’ll have to struggle to not make every single tagline from here on out another Thrice lyric. I’ll do my best. This one comes from the song “Identity Crisis” on the album of the same name. I picked an acoustic version to embed above, but if you want the original screamo (and why wouldn’t you?) here you go. The lyrics from the song are incredible, and here is the stanza from which I took this phrase:

This is my voice, all shadows stayed this is my heart, upon the altar laid
Please take all else away, hear my cry, I beg, I plead, I pray
I’ll walk into the flame, a calculated risk to further bless your name
So strike me deep and true, and in your strength I will live and die both unto you.

The song opens with “I put all my faith in you,” but ends with describing the sacrifice as “a calculated risk.” That, to me, is the absolute essence of faith.  It is the trust of a confused child. It is fidelity to an ideal without knowing for sure if all will be well.It is something we attempt, but fail to do. It is like the father tearfully begging Jesus to save his son who said, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

I want something good to die for, to make it beautiful to live.

Jan 4 2014 – February 22, 2014

This comes from the song “Go With the Flow” by Queens of the Stone Age. Walker suggested it way back in fall 2013, but I was slow getting it updated. He picked an acoustic version of the song, and it’s great.

Packing my bags and giving the academy a rain check.

September 1, 2013 – Jan 4, 2014

This one comes from the song “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, and Mahonri picked it.

Everybody wants to be naked and famous.

August 2013 – September 1, 2013

This was the first tagline we went with when I launched the site redesign in August 2013, and Ro picked it. The lyrics to this song are amazing. So good!

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