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Current KEYS Album

A New Normal

Donna Mucks
Donna Mucks


 A New Normal - Donna Mucks

January 8, 2013 @ 9:43 PM

I hesitate to tell too much of the story behind this song, only because I am learning that it has come to mean something different to everyone.  When I began performing, I was advised about telling too much of the story when you introduce a song.  This point was brought home to me again recently at a workshop. I invite you to FIRST listen to the song and read the words, THEN read the “The Story Behind the Song!”  That way you can make your own interpretation!


The Story Behind the Song “A New Normal”

This song has had an interesting evolution; it has been in the works for about 20 years!  It began marinating even before I knew I was a songwriter! In the early 1990’s I was chatting with my cousin’s husband Mark, who had been working with someone from out of the country.  This gentleman said to Mark, “I don’t understand Americans. Different is not bad, it’s only different!”  What an interesting observation.  The phrase and the sentiment would ring in my ears over and over again through the years.

In 2010, the inspiration for “A New Normal” came from two sources; listening to and reading stories of wounded warriors, and from a story told to me by a warrior of a different kind, someone battling a disease. I was deeply touched by the demonstrated love of life and desire to move on in their respective new normals.  You will notice in the lyrics, I have added the word disease in parenthesis.  I think they both work in this song, and when I sing it I’m never sure which one is going to come out! As I sat down to write “A New Normal” the phrase “Different’s not bad, it’s only different” entered my mind again!

When I was preparing to record “A New Normal” on my CD Faith and Service, I was having trouble deciding on an arrangement. Should I sing it like a ballad, or more upbeat?  I sat down with my husband and sang it both ways and asked which one he thought worked.  He, in his songwriting wisdom said, “Why not both?”  (He is not a songwriter, but I think maybe he should be.)  If you have listened to the song, you know that is exactly what I did.  I incorporated the changing music to the changing moods of the song.  It builds to a hopeful ending, a change in attitude to meet the challenge and to not do it alone. 

Although “A New Normal” was written with the intention to help warriors of many types, it is really a song of triumph over challenge. 

Please feel free to share what “A New Normal” means to you!

Much love and Blessings!



I have fought the demons

Through long dark sleepless nights

But they no longer haunt me

Today I finally won the fight

I put away regrets

Of the life I leave behind

The new one will be different

And different’s not bad

It’s only different, it’s only different.

My soul which had departed

Today returned to me

Together we decided

I am not my injury (disease)

I’m still husband, father, son

I’m still daughter, sister, wife

Friend I may be different

But different’s not bad

It’s only different, it’s only different.

I might need your help

As I move on

I’m not used to asking

So that will be different

But different’s not bad

It’s only different, it’s only different.

So now I begin my new normal

Today is the day

I am accepting the challenge

Of learning to live in a new way

Because now I understand

There is life after change

Some things will be different

But different’s not bad

It’s only different, it’s only different.

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