This is the fourth of 7 blog posts about the songs on my new CD “Big Texas Sky”. As part of this posting, ‘How Do I Tell Her’ will be available as a FREE download for a limited time.
‘How Do I Tell Her’ is a song that has a simple premise, but a complicated delivery. The simple message is that a man is afraid to tell his wife he lost his job. The complication comes from trying to relate the emotions involved in such a transaction over the course of an average country song.
Being a music teacher in the public schools, I have been in the position of getting let go because of budget cuts. I have had to go home and have a frank discussion with my wife about the possibility of not having an income. Luckily I’ve always been rehired or have found another teaching position, but the difficulty of coming home to explain the situation is not something a person wants to experience.
The topic is current with unemployment skyrocketing and good honest folk being let go from jobs they thought they were going to retire from. How does a person feel when they go home to tell their spouse? “Like a thief in the night”, “A ghost in their soul”, “Afraid to deliver disappointment”.
You have no idea how the person on the receiving end is going to take it either. Will you collect their tears in kind for all of the bad news you are delivering? or will something else happen? Divorce or support?
The lyrics of this song went through more than a few rewrites. I workshopped it at a songwriter’s circle and got some surprising feedback. They basically said that it sounded like when the song was over the guy was going to put a bullet in his head. Yikes! I wanted a sadness but not too much. So, I rewrote and rewrote. I made the pivot of the story the love that the couple had for each other. “Til death do us part an all that’s supposed to mean”. Of course the wife needs to point it out to the husband (isn’t that usually the case?) and she essentially says get a grip, you’re not a loser and we’ll be OK because we have each other.
Next to “Anywhere But Here”, this is the most ‘country’ sounding track on the album. I wanted to go for that late 60‘s, early 70’s sound with the pedal steel awash in reverb and a male chorus of background singers. Sad, but not too sad. Something that would make a guy order a shot and a beer after having a listen. He’d raise the shot glass and say – “Here’s to that guy… I know how he feels… Man, I wish I had a woman like that…”
Take a listen and let me know what you think. This will be a FREE download until April 10, 2012.