Without further ado, here is week one’s song: “Beautiful Life.” I recommend staying on board all the way through the final credits and beyond (hint, hint!)
Here’s what I think is maybe going to be most challenging about this blog: keeping myself from publishing the song info before the following Friday. Because right now it’s Friday afternoon (of week one). “Beautiful Life” was posted this morning. In the interest of typing while my memory is fresh, I’m doing the write-up on the “behind-the-song” bit, and seriously, I just want to post it… but I don’t. Ya know? For every person who has clicked through and listened/watched already today, there are a bunch who haven’t, and I just don’t want to influence the way they listen. I think it’s a good overall approach, but I’m kind of way over-excited about this blog now that it’s up, and I just want to post and post and post like a crazy person.
Okay, let’s get to the business at hand. First of all, let me ask you guys: did any of the lyrics escape you? Read below and let me know if anything was murky in the performance aspect of the tune. I am morbidly curious about such things.
By Kim Davidson
Bad haircut, bad clothes, good heart, God knows…
She’d deserve so much more than she’s got if life was fair.
No boyfriend, rented home, nothing much she can call her own
Dead-end job, beat up car, no nothing she’d done has ever got her that far
CHORUS: But she still thinks it’s a beautiful life!
Yeah she laughs her way through all the strife and trials and heartache,
Believing you live the life that you make.
So she’s making it a beautiful life!
Yeah she keeps her heart open through all the disappointment and bad breaks
Leaving people better in her wake…
‘Cause she’s making it a beautiful life.
She’s got a brother–disabled Vet—she hasn’t quite gotten through to him yet
He’s full of pain and confusion and angry as hell.
But she’s patient, she doesn’t push. She knows he’ll get there and she’s in no rush
Yeah she’s got enough faith for them both that he’s gonna get well.
BRIDGE: She could let it get her down, it’d be so easy
To look around and miss what isn’t there.
But she feels like she’s been so blessed, like it’d be crazy
To complain–when she’s got more than enough—just because it’s been a little bit tough.
So this song is pretty straightforward for me. I definitely have an affinity for writing sort of abstract or ambiguous pieces, but every once in a while I come out with something like this: very accessible and relatable. Is it about me? Absolutely not. But wouldn’t it be nice if it could be? Yeah, I definitely have to work on keeping a positive attitude when the ferris wheel is swinging around the bottom. That’s part of how this song came to be. I was having one of those rare, clear days where I was thinking, “Okay seriously, even your WORST problems are nothing compared to some people’s lives.” And I started thinking about those people who seem to be able to smile through any shit-storm (I’ve never been one of them), and I decided to write a song about a person like that.
Back in the fall I played a wedding where the bride wanted to walk down the aisle to this gorgeous song written by Michael Kisur. That song is also called “Beautiful Life.” It’s a really lovely song, one of those “Damn, I wish I’d written that!” kinda tunes. It’s nothing like this one, so don’t worry. I’m not ripping anybody off! But the title was stuck in my head because I thought there was so much potential for those words. So many other options for ways to go. So that was another part of the equation at the time.
Finally, I was revisiting some of my old cover song charts, and I kept returning to Mary Chapin Carpenter because I just love her and she’s fun to play and sing when I have the time to just focus on playing what I want. So I think there’s a little MCC groove in there as well.
On a technical note, the chorus was originally half as long as it is now. I’m not usually a big re-writer, I admit. It’s something I need to get better at, actually, if I want to be able to work as a song-writer for other people, so I’m kind of proud of myself for realizing that it needed a little more and for going back and retooling it.
So that’s the skinny! Anybody have any questions for me? Send me a comment and I’ll reply.