"How Do We Say Goodbye" from TRUTH OR DARE

How do you say goodbye?
When do you let go?
When do you stop fighting not to let your sorrow show?

Where do I begin?
How do I write this song?
How do I make music for you
— the words come out all wrong?

You played by your own rules,
Always on your own,
The world went this way, you went that,
It's how your life has gone.

I remember you,
Always out of place,
The solemn girl who faced it all
with humor and grace.

And did you know
How many caged hearts you set free?
It always took you by surprise,
All the love you could never see.
We told you we loved you,
But you never believed it.
I hope you can see it now.

How do we say goodbye?
How do we say farewell?
Who's gonna tell us the tales
we hoped you would tell?
How do we say goodbye?

How does the heart let go?
Where are the words
to stop the rain in my soul?

Time's a thief.
You were gone too soon.
The spirit moved you;
And now you’re over the moon...

You must have known
You had to be home by Christmas Eve,
'Cause in the morning you were gone.
Did you know you were gonna leave?
I held your hand,
I told you I loved you,
And we said goodnight,
Now how do I say goodbye?

How do I let you go?
How do I say farewell?
Who’s gonna tell you the tales still left to tell?
How do I say goodbye...

  • Blind Phoenix
    Name of Band or Artist
  • Rebekkah Hilgraves
  • Chris Daniels
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Ballad, Rock, Americana, Country
  • Length:
    3 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 29, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Student Project:
Artist Biography

Blind Phoenix is an American Roots / Indie rock band led by singer/songwriters Chris Daniels and Rebekkah Hilgraves.

Add Artist Biography
Artist Statement

Rebekkah's eulogy for her mother inspired the lyrics for this song. It was, as you might imagine, one of the most difficult songs to write.

The way Chris and Rebekkah often work together is by sending ideas back and forth. In this case, Rebekkah told Chris she wanted to adapt words from the eulogy into a song. Chris quickly composed a chord structure and the springboard for the melody, but it would be more than two months until the lyrics coalesced around the title and a single line, "You must have known you had to be home by Christmas eve."


Three years in the making. Stories of love, life, loss from an epic period in the lives of its makers.

TRUTH OR DARE is a story in the form of an album, taking the listener through finding love, running into a storm to rescue a loved one, the decline and passing of parents, and the beginning of new possibilities.

Truth or Dare encompasses several interwoven story arcs, with Hurricane Florence as the backdrop.

During this fateful time, Rebekkah met her partner, Michael. In an act of solidarity and support, mind-blowing so early in their relationship, Michael drove with Rebekkah into the path of Hurricane Florence to get her mother out of danger, and all three were chased upland with the storm on their heels.

Rebekkah had recently moved to coastal North Carolina to help her mother, following a botched surgery, and it turned out to be the last year of her mother's life. She passed away on Christmas morning of 2018.

Rebekkah lost her father to cancer less than a year later, and Chris lost his much-admired grandfather shortly thereafter. Threaded among these stories of loss are the love stories between Rebekkah and Michael, and between Chris and his wife, Kim.


There is a guitar you’ll hear through all of the tracks on the album. She, too, is a survivor of Hurricane Florence and the devastating flooding along coastal North Carolina. Chris tells her story:

“Six months after the storm, a neighbor, Dr. Dunn, came by my restaurant (Silos) and said he had some guitars that had been forgotten and left under the stairs (in the town of Oriental, many houses are on stilts). The guitars had been submerged in saltwater for weeks. Dr. Dunn, figuring they were ruined, said to hang them up in the restaurant as decoration, so I did.

“After a year of the guitars drying out on the wall, I wanted to see if I could fix any of them. It turns out that one of the guitars was a very special Fender Telecaster, a Johnny Greenwood setup. So I got together with a friend and took the guitar completely apart, sanded, sanded, and sanded some more, and found the beautiful natural wood underneath the lacquer and paint (the guitar had been pure black before it drowned). I located the exact electronics and pickups to go in it, assembled it all and plugged it in. WOW! What a great sound. I’ve played many styles of guitars throughout 30 years of playing and the tone of this guitar was incredible.

“When we had our first recording session in Asheville NC, I brought a 1990 Les Paul, 1964 Gibson SG, 1972 Fender Stratocaster, and the 1995 Fender Telecaster (of course I call her Florence), to record Truth or Dare. I used Florence for every song we recorded. The tone was just amazing -- there must be something about the saltwater that runs through the wood now. I don’t know but it just sounded great!”
released March 29, 2021

All songs recorded at White Horse Black Mountain / RadHaus.Studio, Black Mountain, NC, and Hollow Reed Studio, Asheville, NC.
All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.
℗ 2021 RadHaus Studio Publishing (ASCAP, BMI)
Producer: Bob Hinkle
Executive Producer: Rebekkah Hilgraves
Studio engineers: Claire Hoke, Chris Rosser, Rebekkah Hilgraves, Lonnie Park
Mix engineer: Lonnie Park, with special thanks to Vanessa Silberman and Chris Rosser for getting us started.
Mastering engineers: Lonnie Park and Luis "LFF" Flores (audiophile edition)
Photography by Jessica Wharton-Vasquez
Cover and liner art by Marcus Archer and Rebekkah Hilgraves
Vocals, synths, lyrics, music: Rebekkah Hilgraves
Vocals, guitars, lyrics, music: Chris Daniels
Backing vocals: Rebekkah Hilgraves, Chris Daniels, Lonnie Park
Bass: Michael Filippone, Lonnie Park (“Harmony”)
Drums: James Kylen
Percussion: James Kylen, Lonnie Park
Piano: Chris Rosser (“The Dragon”, Lonnie Park)
Keyboards: Lonnie Park
Do No Harm:
- Alex Bradley, trumpet
- Justice Mann, trombone
- Ben Colvin, tenor sax
- Joseph Herbst, alto sax
- Joseph Herbst, horn arrangement
- Paul McIntire, violin
- Franklin Keel, cello
- Rebekkah Hilgraves, string and choral arrangement

(c) 2021 by Blind Phoenix. All rights reserved.