Franciscan Free Song: ‘Too Much Going On’ by Matt Harlan

by Sister Julie Ann on January 30, 2015

Does this song speak to you and your life? Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity offer you a free download of  Too Much Going On by Houston favorite Matt Harlan.

Discerning-VocationSt. Bonaventure’s Holiness in Life might be read through the lines of its lyrics.

“The Law of the Lord teaches us the way to live, what is to be done, avoided, believed, prayed for, longed for and feared. It teaches how to live…

Recollect whether the control of your heart is slipshod and hap hazard. Are you careless in the use of your time? Is the intention you propose to your self habitually imperfect? Examine diligently… because it is of the utmost importance that you govern your affections, that you spend your time profitably and always and in every action have a good and becoming object or end in view. ”

Franciscan Sisters feature Matt HarlanThis song was the first collaboration I’ve ever done via texting. My friend, Colin Raftery, sent me a late-night message with a single, intriguing line about a “reaper on the fence” and although I didn’t quite understand it at first, it matched up perfectly with a melody I had been working on. Quickly it turned into a meditation on how we can sometimes be overwhelmed and frozen in place between the unlimited stream of “things” bearing down on us and the limited time we have here on earth to address them. Ultimately we all have to break through the pressure between the two forces and make a choice to act or stand still.

-Matt Harlan

About Matt Harlan

Houston favorite, Matt Harlan is a troubadour of the first degree, bringing his handcrafted songs to stages across his home state of Texas, the USA and Europe.

Harlan is a winner of multiple songwriting accolades, from outfits like American Songwriter, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Billboard. He was named Singer-Songwriter of the Year in the 2013 Texas Music Awards and was featured alongside a stellar cast of characters (Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark) in the documentary, “For the Sake of the Song.”

His first two studio albums were well received by national and international Americana radio, both earning the #1 spot on the Euro Americana Chart. “Raven Hotel” his third – and possibly best – record also hit the top spot on the Euro charts after its release in 2014. As with each collection, the newest one features a musical roux that showcases Harlan’s literary grit with a variety of moods to fit the many themes on the record.

In his recent travels, Matt has shared stages with Americana greats such as Guy Clark, James McMurtry and up-and-comers like John Fullbright.



February 18-21 Houston   Click here for tour schedule.

42 thoughts on “Franciscan Free Song: ‘Too Much Going On’ by Matt Harlan”

  1. S.A.G. says:

    My thoughts about this song are there are other people who are going through stuff that we don’t know and who need our help. They need to know about Jesus and there are these people who just think about themselves and don’t even care about other people and what their needs are. These are the people that need our love, support, shelter, they need to know that we are here for them. They should live their life like there’s no tomorrow and live, laugh, love, dream and we love you! Don’t think that you’re alone, but these days just live them and we are here for you and do the best you can to live your life.

  2. S.A.G. says:

    The song was beautiful and it made me think about the past, the present and the future. There are so many things that affect my future, things I think about and holding my head. You never know what is going to happen next.

  3. H.E.J. says:

    I think that they think that God is not there with them because, “There is to much going on” in their lives. All these things are happening to them and it is just too much for them to handle by themselves. They must turn to God for help in their life instead of the reaper.

  4. L.L.J. says:

    There are times where you are stuck. Sometimes the past can come back and hurt and with the present it makes it hard but you have to work you way through it.

  5. D.A.P. says:

    I don’t know entirely how to respond to this song but it makes me think about the hard times in life and I don’t care too much for those times anymore. Just focus on the good in life and leave the past in the past.

  6. Kayla says:

    I thing this song is sad because it relates to a lot of things. It kind of reminds me of my life, like I keep a lot of things in and don’t tell anyone and all of it just grows and you get to that point and you don’t know what to do. You’re just lost and then you take a step back and just realize you are stressed.

  7. E.I.C. says:

    I like this song because it’s very heart touching and because it talks about a couples problems and how they try to solve them. I really like the line where the lady sings, “I know, I know, I can break it on my own.” I like it because it says (to me) that we all have problems in the dark before we come into the light or before we solve our problems. This is a very inspiring song.

  8. P.H.S. says:

    I really like your song. My favorite part is,”I’m just trying to solve the problems of the past and present tense.” Because some people have a lot of problems that they are going through.

  9. I.C.J. says:

    I think the song is saying to me like don’t worry about the stuff out in the world, just worry about yourself. Like there is a lot of stuff in your life that is making you sad, just let it go. Don’t worry about it, it will come and go. But for now, just let it go. If you need to cry just do it, let it all out, don’t let anything bring you down. Or there is also a point in life when you just want to stay home all day because of the stuff going on in life. But you will have to face it. At some point in life you just got to knock it out of the part and fly free like a butterfly! Until the next problem comes and you do the same! BE BRAVE!

  10. A.M.B says:

    The thoughts going through my mind are when I was little me and my grandma and sisters and grandpa! We went to the Grand Canyon! We left and went for a long road trip before we had all these problems. We tried everything! But on day we started to pray to our beloved God! He is helping a little at a time. We just have to give Him some more time!

  11. Sandra says:

    What my thoughts that are as I listen to this song is much sadness and people like moms and dads who don’t have time for their children. Like they wouldn’t have the time to call you or they can’t pick up their phone when you call. My other thoughts are people are rushing around.

    My favorite part of the song was they said “Just because you’re lonesome doesn’t mean you’re all alone.” I mean it’s true you aren’t alone.

  12. H.H.W. says:

    My thought is that they have too much going on to fix their problems so they a way of coping, that is writing this song about what they are feeling.

  13. T.F.H. says:

    The part I like is when its says, “These days it seems there’s just to much going on.” because I lost a best friend a couple of weeks ago 🙁 and plus I just lost my grandma on January 25, 2015, but yeah, I like the song.

  14. Rissa says:

    Well, my thought about this song are: I love the lyrics and my favorite line is “Just because you’re lonesome doesn’t mean you’re all alone.” that touches my heart because I always think I’m alone. I have no one to talk to when I need someone. But when I have music I’m not alone. Music is my life I can’t live without music <3. But that line tells me when I am alone outside or on a walk that I'm not rally along, I always have someone next to me or with me. Thank you and I love the song.

  15. Lydia says:

    This song brings a lot of memories back of my family. It is a very beautiful song to listen to.

  16. E.R.M. says:

    My thoughts on this song are it can relate to a lot of people because like the song said, “there’s just too much going on.” It really makes you think that they just need to let go and let all that stuff go and focus on themselves.

  17. N.U.M. says:

    The song makes me think of like self-strength. By just thinking of your past and just trying to clear everything out of our mind and focusing on building yourself up.

  18. Sister Pamela Catherine says:

    Reading the comments from my students I know very well this song speaks volumes to them, probably more than I will ever know. The title of this song sums up pretty well what many may think in considering day to day living, that there is just so much going on, in our families, at school or at our jobs even in the larger perspective of the world. It may even seem like a whirlwind of which we are struggling to straighten out, to find that bit of peace. Yet, the last verse contains the HOPE on which we should focus, that we are not alone. That even in the reality of the busyness of our day to day lives, Jesus walks with us. He is our constant center.

  19. H.S. says:

    The song says you should slow down and focus on the important thing, I am doing a lot of stuff and its only going to get busier and harder.

  20. E.V.H. says:

    I wonder where my life is going to take me.

  21. A.P. says:

    It makes me feel reminiscent and longing for when times were not as busy and stressful.

  22. H.J. says:

    Stopping to smell the roses, mix of folk and country
    We get wrapped in material things or our focus at the time.

  23. K.S. says:

    As I listened I thought of nature, summer, up north, service trips, high school…calming

  24. P.M. says:

    How busy my schedule can be… I thought of rainy days because the song is a little more relaxing and the artist san that he wished it would rain.

  25. T.H. says:

    A lot of times there is a lot going on and we forget about our faith and calling from God.

  26. E.K. says:

    That God is there for you even if there’s not much good that I do.

  27. C.I. says:

    There is so much going on in my life it keeps me away from God.

  28. B.B. says:

    I thought about how everyone has to make time for God in their lives and a lot of times we feel like we have too many other important things to do.

  29. H.G. says:

    The song speaks to me of the business of everyone’s life, including mine.

  30. K.H. says:

    This song is life.

  31. E.T. says:

    Life is not easy, but it’s better to try again. Be yourself.

  32. M.H. says:

    It says that all stuff in my life can be minimized.

  33. L.S. says:

    To just slow down and take your time in life.

  34. N.P. says:

    I think about someone singing around the campfire, a river and a mountain. I have a lot that is going on in my life and I feel overwhelmed.

  35. Sister Carla says:

    Yes, today there is too much going on. I fell this in my life and hear it from older students and parents. My way of coping is taking time at the beginning of the day to pray. I can deal with the happenings of the day with more peace. At night I look back and realize again that I was not alone. God is Good!

  36. Michele says:

    Yes. I need to make time to be with the Lord. Life is busy,but God is worth more than a quick “hi-bye’ prayer.

  37. Lauren says:

    That even though there are times where I feel like I have no one to talk to about my prayer, Jesus is always there and feeling alone is what the devil wants, not Jesus.

  38. Mary says:

    It is easy to distract ourselves from our lives. In our busyness, we allow ourselves to be distracted and overlook the beauty of creation; we distract ourselves from real relationships and most unfortunately, we distract ourselves from God. We need times of prayer and stillness to simply be with God.

  39. A.H. says:

    The people in the song have a hard time figuring out their vocation because they are too busy and can’t seem to focus.

  40. J.T. says:

    I do have a lot of stuff going on in my life. I think about summer and possible future vocations and relationships.

  41. C.W. says:

    My life is very busy so this song is very relatable.

  42. L.N. says:

    Life is good, but that we worry too much about things and what people say.

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