Tunes For The Troops: “Comin’ Home” by M.R.S. Project

June 27, 2007

Sometimes when you hear a song, it speaks to you; it puts all of your thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams into music. Sometimes it will bring up the sentiments and feelings that you have about certain things in your life, as if it was written specifically for you. Comin’ Home by is one of those songs.

Most of you know that I have a loved one who is currently serving in Iraq. I can imagine these thoughts and feelings going through Marty’s head as he boards that plane and heads back to the US, after serving more than a year in Iraq. I know, that I’ll be having some of the same thoughts going through my head, as I’m sitting there waiting for him to come home. In fact, I just experienced that to some degree, as he was home just last month for his R & R. I remember the days leading up to the day he was supposed to arrive. The anticipation and excitement building, as it got closer and closer. I wasn’t concentrating much on work or anything other than finally seeing him again, after 8 months. I remember, sitting in the airport, waiting for his plane to get here, thinking it was never going to land. I remember, seeing him walk through the gates at the airport, and how elated I felt as we wrapped our arms around each other, for the first time in 8 months. Comin’ Home puts those thoughts and feelings into words in a very powerful way. Just read the lyrics to the song as you listen to it and I think you’ll understand why it made such a powerful impact on me.

Comin’ Home

Comin’ Home

Written by: Bob Simmons and Palmer Johnson

It’s a cold November morning, but I’m warm inside
I just got word I’m Comin’ Home
I take one last look at your picture, it’s worn and frayed
For the last 12 months I’ve been alone

Staring out the window, of a big jet plane,
I think of how my kids have grown
I wonder if they’ll recognize their father
Or be afraid of a man they’ve barely known

Home, back where I belong
I’m Comin’ Home back to her open arms
I’m Comin’ Home to live my life again
Meet me at the runway, cause I’m Comin Home

Daylight comes so early, when the kids wake up
She can’t believe he’s Comin’ Home
A ribbon falls from the oak tree, in the yard outside
Untied by little hands, where the flag has flown

They sit and wait for him, each minute seems like hours
a crowd begins to grow as his flight draws near
They share a warm embrace, he hands her wilted flowers
The tears fall down his face as the crowd all cheers

Home, back where I belong
I’m Comin’ Home back to her open arms
I’m Comin’ Home to live my life again
Meet me at the runway, cause I’m Comin Home

Repeat Chorus 2X

I heard this song some time ago on MySpace and had contacted the band. A few days ago, I heard back from the vocalist of M.R.S. Project, Palmer Johnson, who said that they would be honored for us to feature Comin’ Home here at ASM. Palmer apologized for not contacting me sooner. After learning a little bit about him, he’s a firefighter, it’s very easy to understand how he might not have the time to answer an email from a total stranger right away. Being a fire fighter, Palmer knows only too well, what it means to do a job that keeps you away from your home and loved ones, many times for extended hours at a time and many times in conditions that may ultimately cost you your life. Palmer Johnson is a Hero, in his own right. It takes a special breed of person to do the job that he does every day. Here’s what Palmer had to say about our troops and the plans for this song.

From left to right: Bob Simmons, Palmer Johnson and Dave Norris

We have run up against some obstacles with the song really catching on, that were just unfortunate timing. When the song was first played on our local radio station, it was met with immediate success as we were welcoming home soldiers from overseas that very weekend. With a stong patriotic theme, the weekend was filled with requests to get a copy of the song. The first day it recived 5 airings and the request lines were filling up. At the time of it’s airing, we had not had the song mass produced, and the time needed to collect our money amongst the band for the first pressing, work on the cover design etc. it took almost 2 months for the CD to arrive back to us. By that time, the local patriotic climate had cooled with all of our soldiers being home, and that led to less airplay on the radio. I am not sure we have written a hit, but I feel it is a strong song with a strong message.

One of the things that I have said from the beginning, is that we truly admire and respect the members of our military. The thing I find equally impressive are the families of the soldiers left behind, who go about daily life with worry and vigor in an effort to provide the returning servicemen and women with a civilian life that they can’t wait to come home to. That strength is truly heroic, and with my brother in law preparing for his first tour overseas, I feel even more strongly about that now than I did at the time of the songs writing.

What I think is fantastic, is that the money they make from the sale of this single will be donated to a Family Readiness Group. To those of you not familiar with the military, the Family Readiness Groups assist the families of deployed troops, while their troops are deployed. They provide support for the families back home, organize care packages for their deployed soldiers, as well as organize Welcome Home celebrations for their soldiers when they finally return home from deployment. So, not only do they have a “hit” on their hands, but they’re doing a fantastic thing, by donating the proceeds to the Family Readiness Group to enable them to continue to operate. These guys are doing this to help the families of the deployed troops, not because they have to, but instead as their way of showing their appreciation for what the families and Troops go through for our Nation.

Comin’ Home
The Story

Dave Norris is the man responsible for the music in Comin’ Home. During a night where he just could not sleep due to his diabetes, he sat down to eat a meal to regulate his blood sugar. While seated at the table, he had an idea for a tune, so, in the middle of the night, he went to his recording studio in Kingston Pennsylvania with a melody in his head. His intention was to record the idea, and then return after some rest to finish the project. One hour turned into many and by Noon he had worked to completion recording Bass guitar, and multiple guitar tracks.

A call was made to long time friend and former band mate, Bob Simmons. He told Bob of the song and requested he drive up as soon as possible to provide the drum tracks. This was no small feat since Bob resides in Kearneysville, West Virginia. None the less he arrived to collaborate on the song and worked on a drum track to fit the song.

Dave had to leave the studio for about 30 minutes and upon his returning, had found that Bob had completed the initial draft of the heartfelt lyrics. They both took turns recording the vocals but were not satisfied with the sound that they had.

Dave’s wife suggested that they place a call to a family friend and former singer in one of Dave’s earlier projects. Palmer Johnson was given a copy of the music, and a lyric sheet and charged with the responsibility to make the words and sentiments fit. After some phrasing and lyric changes to fit the rhyming scheme, a test track was recorded. Soon after, the final cut was recorded and mixed in Mt. Rockmore Studio’s in Kingston Pa.

The song then found its way into the hands of an Army veteran, who had only days before returned from a year long deployment to Iraq. While doing an interview at a local radio station, Raymond Cannell played the song for the producer of the morning show. Within minutes of that first listen, the song was on the air and phone lines were lighting up with calls from interested listeners.

KRZ-FM, the radio station responsible for playing the song for the first time to the public, got behind the song and began to promote it locally. The station invited the members of the M.R.S. Project into the studio for an interview. During the segment a soldier who had just returned home called to thank the band for writing the song that had brought him and other soldiers to tears. Dave Norris then spoke the words that seemed to describe the rest of his band mate’s feelings.

“When we wrote a song that caused grown men to cry, we knew we had something special.”

We are assembling a generous donation in conjunction with our internet and local record store sales thanks to your generousity. God Bless America! Our song is being sold as a benefit for a Military Family Readiness Charity. CD AVAILABILITY

The song is currently available at all 11 Locations of the Gallery of Sound music stores throughout Northeast Pennsylvania.

The song is also available for order through the bands account
at a cost of $5.00 + 1.50 to cover shipping and handling costs.
Requests can be made to the band through the Myspace website.
Orders are generally processed within 1 to 2 days of receiving payment.

I’d love to see our readers get behind the guys in M.R.S. Project and help them to achieve their goal of making a donation to the Family Readiness Groups. I can’t think of a more worthwhile cause than that!


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