Dear Holly: The Song Wrote About You- “If She’s a Princess, I’m a King”

4 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

Earlier this summer, I challenged myself to write a song about you- specifically, about our relationship as father and daughter.

This past week, I finished writing the song and published it to my YouTube channel.

The concept is this: You are a princess. Since I am your father, that means that I am a king.

Here are the lyrics:

Never thought I’d be the king of anything/Or live in a castle married to a queen/ It never seemed that would be my reality/Then I met a girl who changed everything/Those blue eyes are still a mystery/And when she smiles at me, it’s all that I really need

Well I’m a king if she’s a princess/A slumber party in an Elsa dress/The proudest ever ballerina, the blondest ever senorita/I’m the beast and she’s the beauty/An interruption to my routine/She’s always happy when she sees me/I am royalty, believe me/If she’s a princess, I’m a king

My midlife crisis came a little soon/An existential view with doom and gloom/I was so confused thinking, “What am I here to do?”/Then I met a girl who changed everything/Those blue eyes are still a mystery/And when she smiles at me, it’s all that I really need

Love,

Daddy

Behind the Music: My New Original Song about Emotional Intelligence, “Maybe It’s a Dream” by Nick Shell

It might be easy to forget at this point in my life, but when I moved to Nashville back on September 11th, 2005, it was because I wanted to build a career in music; as I have been singing, writing songs, and playing the guitar for over two decades.

However, my focus changed about a year and a half after I moved to Nashville, when I met my wife. Two kids and a decade later, the music thing has been on hiatus.

But this week, I decided to finally record a song I’ve been working on for four years.

It’s called “Maybe It’s a Dream”. The song is about the journey of emotionally intelligence; what it’s like living in the paradox of now understanding how it’s a conscious decision to realize that other people only affect my emotions if I give them permission; and that once I began taking control over that part of my life and I unplugged from that master of puppets system, it made me feel both more alive, yet more isolated from the world.

When I started writing the song, I was 32 years old; I just beginning to learn about emotional intelligence. Now, less than a month away from turning 37, I feel like I am becoming on expert on focusing on what I can control, not on what I can not: including other people.

The opening line of the song, “I am a skeleton with meat on my bones”, is my way of acknowledging the ability to separate others’ perception of who they think I am, versus my own perception of who I think I am. In reality, my identity is somewhere in between.

Later on in the song, I admit, “My perspective of reality will die with me.”

We live in somewhat of an illusion of who we think we are, and we struggle to not worry about what other people think about us; yet in reality, how others collectively perceive us ultimately is part of who we actually are.

So it’s even more groundbreaking of a concept when a person chooses to control their own emotions exclusively; not giving permission to others to “hurt” their feelings or offend them.

This leads to a sense of a confused state of being for a guy like me: “Maybe it’s a dream. Is this even real?”

In other words, if I can control so much of my life now that I understand only I control the breaker switch of my own emotions, life starts to feel a little bit like I’m part of some grand scheme of a social experiment. Maybe this is my version of The Truman Show.

I hope you enjoy my song and I hope you can personally relate to it in some way. It is truly an extension of my identity. To understand who I am (or at least who I think I am) is to understand this song.