Oddly in my list of Youtube videos that are recommended to me on a daily basis happened to be an old song from a band called Flyleaf called “Fully Alive”. This was one of many songs from my youth that I had forgotten about and was overly ambitious to listen to the second I had seen it.
After enjoying the 2.5 minutes of high-pitched vocals and hard rock I had a brief epiphany: “Fly + Leaf = Flyleaf” How difficult would it be to attach an insect and a plant together and create a new band name? Whipping out the programmings I had found 3 solid references and let the computers do their workings and posted the results up on github, and further hosted it here for maximum clickability.
Alas, my curiosity of this song and the immediate conception of the “band name” program did not stop there. The lyrics needed a bit of attention to as they seemed unusually specific:
Telling Layla's story spoken 'Bout how all her bones are broken Hammers fall on all the pieces Two months in the cover creases Here she stands today In her brilliant shining way [chorus] Fully alive More than most, ready to smile, and love life Fully alive and she knows How to believe in futures All my complaints shrink to nothing I'm ashamed of all my somethings She's glad for one day of comfort Only because she has suffered Here she stands today In her brilliant shining way
Okay, so who is Layla and what’s her story? Some simple googling immediately led me to the Wikipedia Page for Fully Alive, which had an interesting quote on it:
It’s about the singer for Trust Company, Kevin, his wife Layla. She’s an awesome person, and you would never guess in a million years that she has the struggle that she has. Kinda changed my perspective about the way that I complain about things, the way that I wake up sad for no reason, and then she wakes up just glad to wake up.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fully_Alive
Holy shit. Between this quote and the lyrics it leave a lot to the imagination. I felt the need to dig into this a bit more and see what I could find. My stomach turned as I noticed this quote was not referenced, which means it has a high chance that it could be completely false. Checking the history of the article told me that the quote was created 15 Sep, 2008, and was not removed or contested on the talk page since then. It had stood as canon for 10+ years.
So, on to digging. I found Kevin’s last name easy, and searching for “Kevin and Layla Palmer” led immediately to The Lettered Cottage, a blog by Layla Palmer who mentions they live in Alabama with their son. The odds of “Kevin and Layla Palmer” existing somewhere else really seemed to solidify that this is actually them, and they’re doing okay. It really killed any thoughts of early domestic violence that initially flooded my “oh shit” meter.
So, what was this song written about, then, if all seems okay with Layla? What makes someone write such a song when things seem awesome on the outside?
A couple other searches later on led to a clue, and then the actual quote.
lyricinterpretations.com had a top-rated comment dated 7 August 2007 that was the quote that’s seen in the Wikipedia article.
songfacts.com had more information provided with the quote: “Layla has a condition called Palindromic Rheumatism, which causes her joints to fill with fluid, leaving her in great pain for months at a time and barely able to move. Despite her struggles she remains productive and positive, and an inspiration to Flyleaf lead singer Lacey Mosley.”
Holy shit. This is awesome. I teared up. I immediately hopped over to wikipedia and referenced both those pages, since awesomeness needs sources to remain awesome.
At this point I had to engage my haxor skills and tried to complete the loop. I willingly asked google if there are any writings of “Fully Alive” on theletteredcottage.net.
It did. As a first result it gave me https://theletteredcottage.net/testsite/fully-alive/.
I have a friend named Lacey.
She sings for a band called Flyleaf.
We haven’t talked in a while because their band has BLOWN UP and they are travelling around the globe doing their thang.
I couldn’t be happier for them.
I remember when they were starving artists, touring around the U.S. in a 15-passenger van.
They attended church, every Sunday, in whichever city they happened to be in.
Their very first tour was with my husbands band.
They opened the show every night, and the kids just ate ’em up.
Lacey and I were the only girls on that tour, so we bonded.
Turns out she wrote a song about me, inspired by our time together and the things I shared with her.https://theletteredcottage.net/testsite/fully-alive/
Apparently it’s done very well at radio. (No more starving…yay!)
And now they’ve released an acoustic version, which I just heard for the first time, today.
There is no date on the article, but there is a dead link to an old-style YouTube link to https://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=5-egfJcDUWE (restored) dated 30 October 2007. The youtube video is from the non-Vevo Flyleaf channel with the acoustic version that Layla had written about.
And thus, out of my rabbit hole I emerge, stronger and more knowledgeable.