Her name is Miranda Dodson. She's from a small town in Texas named Bryan, where she told an audience, "everything creative goes to die."
Escaping Bryan's grip, Miranda moved to the capital of the music world: Austin, Texas; and she hasn't looked back. A regular on the Austin scene, Miranda plays frequently at Stubbs and La Zona Rosa; often leads worship at local Acts 29 church Austin City Life (appropriately called ACL to it's members); and never misses a chance to jam during the annual SXSW and ACL music events that turn the already bustling town of Austin into a downright city center.
NPR had a chance to sit down with Miranda to chat about her recent song, Try Again. This hauntingly beautiful song comes across to the untrained ear as a love song to a fallen romantic partner. Instead it is actually Miranda's therapeutic way of expressing she and her husbands attempts at having a child after two miscarriages.
Heartbroken after the second, feeling shame and brokenness, Miranda reached to her art, her creative center, and came out with the song NPR has listed in their "can't stop playing" section. What the song doesn't tell you, which will make things that much sweeter, is that her beautiful son celebrated his first birthday just last month.
We spoke with Miranda about her experiences that led to this song as well as how if felt to have her face appear on the NPR homepage right under the Pope:
Tell me about Wednesday morning...from when you first learned that your segment aired to the flood of love from people:
I woke up on Wednesday with only thoughts of getting my son ready for school. When I checked facebook and a friend said that her friend had heard my new song “Try Again” on NPR in Florida….I responded “on the radio?” haha! I had no idea that the segment was airing so I kind of blew it off.
Then I received a FB message from a guy in West Virginia thanking me for the song and sharing he and his wife’s story of pregnancy loss. I was still not putting the pieces together… I thought “that’s kinda cool a guy found my new tune on the internet and wrote, that is really neat.”
Then all heck broke loose on my inbox. Friends from all over the country were telling me that they heard my piece on NPR Morning Edition and many strangers were emailing me thanking me for being apart of their healing from this intensely sad experience. It was overwhelming to say the least. I bet I got 70-80 emails from people thanking me, telling me that they just listened and wept and healed. I knew that this was a special moment in my life so I made a point to respond to every message.
It must be a surreal feeling to see the heartbreaks you endured being the catalyst for all of this:
It is surreal…. I still remember sitting at my piano as I was writing this song. Every time I sang it, I healed a little more and I thought…. This song feels special, it could really help people.” How amazing to get to experience that very thing. A true blessing.
And then your "mug" as you called it appeared under the Pope! How did that feel?
That was pretty exciting! To be on the front page of NPR.org was something I never imagined would EVER happen…. The pope thing was an added bonus!
Being a member of local church ACL, were you able to turn to church friends during this time?
My church family was a huge support during my difficulties in child bearing. That is where I was able to speak openly about what I was going through, hear others stories and ask for prayer. I realized that not everyone has such an amazing community and that gave me the courage to speak out about my story in hopes that I could extend the same love and support that I had received.
Was Try Again a song that came quickly to you, or did you let it simmer?
This one came very quickly, I just sat down at the piano in the midst of my pain and sorrow and it just pouring out. I may have spent a couple of sessions editing after the initial writing but the song was ready to be written, a very cathartic experience.
How did you end up on NPR?
My good friend at our local station KUT here in Austin, David Brown (Texas Music Matters) had done an interview with me on a previous release so I reached out to him with the new EP and my story. He immediately got back to me and wanted to do a piece on the song and the story. That aired here in Austin and I thought that it was over. Then NPR.org picked it up from there to be included in their online segment “Heavy Rotation”. That was published about 2 weeks before the release. I released the EP on Friday and the next Wednesday Morning Edition ran the piece on my song. Very Exciting, and overwhelming. Really cool experience to get to help so many people.
SXSW is coming! Where can people come hear you?
I am playing the Midcoast Takeover party on Wednesday, March 13 at 4pm at Shangri-La.
You just had your newest record release, where can we go to listen to clips from the other songs and buy the album?
My website! You can also hear the Texas Music Matters interview as well as the Morning Edition piece.
What do you feel was the lesson in all this?
Something that I have learned though this whole experience is that at our darkest moments we are not alone… if we can be courageous enough to open our hearts to others we will heal and we will in-turn help others to heal by our bravery.
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