From the recording The Price of a Song

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Winner of the 2019 Nashville Songwriters Association lyric competition

An anthem for songwriters, written by Michael R. J. Roth (lyric winner of the 2019 NSAI/CMT song contest) and Eryn Michel (winner of the American Songwriter magazine lyric contest). Lori McKenna called Roth "brilliant." Eryn Michel's "Old Habits" was a Nashville Songwriter's Association International Top 40 favorite, and she was named a TAXI Top 10 Favorite.

Michael R. J. Roth:
Eryn Michel:


The Price of a Song
© 2019 Michael R. J. Roth & Eryn Michel

We all want a ticket to heaven
We want that last drop of wine
We wanna end the discussion
And stand where the spotlight will shine
We all want something for nothin’,
Like nothing ever went wrong
We want it all, we want it all
For the price of a song

The price of a song
Is the last glimpse of beauty
Before you go blind
The wounds of a soldier
Cut down under fire
The scar left behind
The tears of a mother
With a child in her arms
The Judas kiss of a faithless lover
Who will rip out your heart
For the price of a song

There's a song in the thunder and lightning,
On the bloodthirsty edge of a knife,
In a shot from a bottle of whiskey
Pushing emptiness back in the night
There's a song on the highway before you
Between the prison bars of a cell
In a cry out to God in the midst of misfortune
A glimmer of heaven while walking through hell


When I think of the times I’ve been injured
The ways I was maimed by the things I did wrong
And the pain that inevitably lingers
Through the night and into the dawn
I know I’m not one of the chosen
I know that I’m not very strong
But I know every time I was broken
I broke into song