Tom Paden ’75: Serendipitous Success

For over 35 years, Tom Paden ’75 has been writing, pitching, and recording songs in Nashville success has never quite come about the way it did recently.

In 2016, Paden and writing partner Eddie Kilgallon wrote “Window in the Wall,” a song about two people who needed to see the other person’s point of view to make a troubled relationship work. Not much happened with the song, although Paden had high hopes for it. Four years later, in 2020, as Paden watched the unrest, upheaval, and riots throughout the nation, he thought the song could speak to the troubled relationships he was observing.

“I told Eddie that we needed to re-write the song – for the world,” remembers Paden, who owns Paden Place Music in Franklin, Tenn. “So, we worked on it, changed a few lines, made a demo, and pitched it around Nashville for three months, or so. I got some nibbles, but nobody took it.”

Months later, Paden got a message from his cousin Cyndie Morris in Bremen, Ga. “Please don’t be mad at me but I pitched your song to my friend, Olivia, and she wants to record it as a duet with her daughter.”

At that point, Paden was ready for anyone to record it, so he replied, ‘Fantastic! What’s her last name? I’ll start the paperwork.”

“I think she still goes by Newton-John,” came the reply and the break Paden had been looking for. Cyndie had met the music legend while undergoing breast cancer treatment and had told Paden in a text message that she knew Olivia Newton-John and asked if she could play the song for her.

“I never saw the message, or I would have, of course, said yes,” says Paden.

The song was produced for Newton-John and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, released in January, was number one on the iTunes chart and has been featured on The Today Show, ET-Entertainment Tonight, The Talk, and other radio and TV shows.

“Eddie and I like to write message songs, thinking songs,” says Paden. “I’ve written a lot of country songs that aren’t exactly like that, but we really like to make people think and make a difference. The goal of any serious professional songwriter is to make a difference in a person’s life, or two people’s lives, or a million people’s lives. The ultimate payoff is to have a song that means something to people. I think this song may have more life. I hope it will be recorded again.”

“I believe every song I write is a gift from God. It all comes from Him,” Paden continues. “After working hard for many years, I’ve slowed down the last three or four and don’t network as much. It’s been fun to have this success come sort of out of the blue.”


"The Window In The Wall"
 

Has this world forgotten how to love?
Are we blinded by the hate we let inside?
No one's giving in or giving up
The lines are drawn and there's no compromise

This isn't who we are
It's time for us to start

Looking for a window in the wall
Maybe we can see the other side
And find we're not so different after all
Looking for a window in the wall

Sometimes hearts can grow as cold as stone
Then become the borders we can't cross
The fertile fields of trust where love had grown
Slowly start to die when hope is lost

That's where we are right now
But we can turn it all around

By looking for a window in the wall
Maybe we can see the other side
And find we're not so different after all
Looking for a window in the wall

We're waging war, we've died enough
Fighting for everything but love
It's time to heal, to turn the page
Too much to lose, so much to save
We have to change

Looking for a window in the wall
Maybe we can see the other side
And find we're not so different after all
Looking for a window in the wall
Looking for a window in the wall


Tom Paden's discography