Apr 18, 2022
Living literally or metaphorically in a war is a terrible way to live. How do you keep going forward when your friends are dying all around you? Come Adventure with me and my new Kickstarter. Find out how you can keep listening to more Pub Stories on Pub Songs & Stories #253.
Welcome to Pub Stories. This is the Virtual Public House to share stories and inspiration behind my music.
0:30 - WHAT’S NEW?
First, let me tell you that I am getting ready to Kickstart a new album. If you’re not yet subscribed to my mailing list, please sign up so you don’t miss the Kickstarter. It’s for an album called Come Adventure With Me. It has some more amazing songs. I hope to announce the release of the Kickstarter on the next episode.
Second, you’ll note that this episode is quite a bit shorter than past shows. After much debate, I decided to once again retire the format I’ve been working on for the past year. There was a LOT that I loved about that format. I’ve actually been pretty giddy about it. But the pros just didn’t outweigh the cons. You can read about my decision in my blog on my website.
That said, the Pub Stories are not exactly going away. If you want to keep listening to my Pub Stories, then join my Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. I plan to release two episodes per month in the Spring and Fall season. However, they will be shorter episodes like this and they will focus almost exclusively on my music. You can get that with any pledge on Patreon, for just five buck a month.
And I also plan to post at least one episode per month in the PubSong.com feed. At least through the end of the Spring season.
So what happens to the stories I still have left to publish? Because I do have a few. Those will move to the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. I’ll add them to every 2-3 episodes.
So again, thank you for all of your support. I truly appreciate everyone who became an actual fan of THIS show.
A special Thanks to my newest Gunn Runners on Patreon: Robert Eby, Mikey Mason, Nowisthewinterofourdiscord, Sue DeSimone, Bill Shields
3:13 - UPCOMING SHOWS
I was gonna do a story about Tough Times in this show. But I realized I already highlighted it in show #217. It’s even called Tough Times.
3:51 - STORY OF SERENITY VALLEY WALTZ
“Serenity Valley Waltz” changed everything for me. I was not confident I could write a song on command. Heck, I’m still not. But I am MORE confident.
Mikey Mason and I met at a sports bar in Chicago for FuMPFest a few years back. Mikey asked if I’d be interested in starting a podcast where we wrote a song for each episode of Firefly. I didn’t think I could do it. I was nervous as hell, but I wanted to try. I wanted to flex my songwriting muscles and get better. What better way!
So the first episode we watched was “Serenity”. It’s the two-hour introduction to the characters. I remember when I first watched it, I was left in a kind of daze. I didn’t know what to think about the episode.
When I rewatched it, one of the things that stuck out to me was the introductory scene. It’s a flashback to one of the most-important battles of the Unification War. The Battle of Serenity Valley is when the Alliance finally beat back the Browncoats. ⅔ of the Independents died fighting in that battle.
The look of dejection on Malcolm Reynold’s face when the Angels retreat is just incredible. It’s also very appropriate. And then later in the episode when he talks and the season when he talks about Serenity Valley, you can tell there was trauma. The type that must be SO hard to get over.
I mean, imagine fighting in a battle where ⅔ of your family and friends that you’re fighting with end up dead. Hm. ⅔ is such a weird number. Imagine you’re standing with 9 of your best friends and family. At the end of the battle, six of those people are no longer there.
This is the type of stuff that I think about with the War in Ukraine. They’re fighting hard. But the Russians are ruthless and evil. It’s not just fellow soldiers there. It’s family and friends. Imagine that. It makes me want to cry.
That’s where I was when I was writing “Serenity Valley Waltz”. Music is such a great healer. I wanted to write a song for the survivors. How did they do it?
I imagine Mal, Zoe, Tracey and others sitting around the campfire singing this song, raising a glass to the fallen.
The second verse is extra important to me too. Because it’s a realization of the damage we can cause to one another when we don’t believe. It was inspired a bit by the Me Too movement. But also by a couple friends who are very dear to me.
It’s also a universal truth. Sometimes we hurt those around us. Sometimes we just don’t want to believe it. Either from their own ignorance or because they just don’t trust you. Maybe because we’re a bit dramatic at times or because they’re in their own colored-glasses world.
What’s made a huge difference is my family. When I’m sad or hurting, I turn to them. But I learned the Serenity Prayer from my mom, who was drug and alcohol counselor.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”
That’s what that last verse is for me. I’m not sure Mal found that peace in the show. But he definitely built a family around him. That too is his Serenity.
You can download the Campfire version of “Serenity Valley Waltz” as an MP3 when join my Gunn Runners on Patreon.
7:43 - “Serenity Valley Waltz” by Marc Gunn from
Thanks for listening to Pub Stories. If you want more behind-the-scene Pub Stories, please join the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. This is how I make a living and support this show.
The show was produced by Marc Gunn, edited by Mitchell Petersen with graphics by Miranda Nelson Designs. You can subscribe and listen wherever you find podcasts. You will love subscribing to my mailing list. You will get regular updates of new music, podcasts, special offers, and you’ll get a free album. Welcome to the pub at www.pubsong.com!
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