Flashback Friday: Paul Smallman's "Find Your Way"

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 4.23.07 PM I’m perpetually fascinated by the work of our  songwriting interns. The expectation is that they write a song every week that is inspired by place, specifically urban Indy. Sure, not every week yields a complete gem, but most of the time they are able to creatively blend their own tastes and style with a topic that is also relevant to the city of Indianapolis. Often these interns aren’t originally from Indy, and such was the case with our very first songwriter, Paul Smallman. His song “Find Your Way” was the first to capture my special interest. It chronicles a trip to a candy store near my house in the home of a woman named Mrs. Shabazz. Mrs Shabazz had a special ability to care for the children in her neighborhood. She would teach them how to count out the coins for their candy, knowing that many of them didn’t have anyone else to teach them. Even as a child, I knew that she was doing a great and selfless thing for the kids who stopped in by her generosity with her time, her money, and her home.

shabazz 2 photos


This is why it warmed my heart so much to hear a song written about her. Not only is it a beautiful song, but I was enthralled that someone who came all the way from Baltimore, Maryland had written about a part of my childhood with such knowing emotion. It was as if he’d grown up going to this candy store along with the rest of us; he’d captured the spirit of the store and of Mrs. Shabazz. The last stanzas feel especially nostalgic … as if Smallman knows exactly what Mrs. Shabazz wishes will come from her great kindness.


Cause the world out there won't stop to care If you can't find your way But I can try and show you why You can find your way

I am not your mother But I can try to love ya With my little candy store I'll help you find your way