Tag Archives: country music

The Countdown to Life in Full Colour #4

Callaghan "Life in Full Colour"

# 4 – It Was Meant To Be

This is my mini blog about each of the songs that make up my debut album, “Life In Full Colour”, and the stories and inspirations behind them. “Life in Full Colour” is released on iTunes May 1st.

In my last blog I mentioned co-writing, and this song “It Was Meant To Be”, happens to be another one of the co-writes on my album. Written with two other writers, one of whom was John Peppard (who also co-wrote the Grammy-winning song “In Another’s Eyes” by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood).

This song seems to be quite an audience favourite – both at live shows and people telling me it has been played at their wedding, which I think is so cool!

“It Was Meant To Be” is an unadulterated, simple, straight-from-the-heart love song about the moment when you feel all the stars align and everything falls into place.

The song was written several years ago and has been recorded a few times in various different ways – stripped back and slowed right down on the piano (as on my EP “Nothing You Say”) to the full band version on the album. I really love the album recording and had great fun experimenting in the studio with new sounds like mellotron.

I’m sometimes asked what it’s like to sing the same song over and over again. I have no idea how many times I have sung “It Was Meant To Be” but it’s probably in the thousands. There must be something special about this song though because I get something different from it each time I perform it. I have a feeling I’m still going to be singing it years from now and I hope it continues to connect with the people who hear it.

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What’s Country in one country might not be Country in another…

 

One of my earliest memories is being taken to a John Denver concert when I was aged 5. I didn’t really know who he was, other than that he sang songs I liked singing along to in the car, like Grandma’s Feather Bed and Thank God I’m a Country Boy. In fact, as my parents like to remind me now, I was so overwhelmed by the event that I fell asleep after a couple of songs. I think that had more to do with being 5 than the music!

I remember the day at school when I found out John Denver had died in a plane crash. I was really upset and couldn’t understand why my other classmates were not only not upset, but had no idea who he was.

In the UK, Country music just wasn’t a part of my generation’s culture, and for many people it conjured up an image of people singing about their tractors and guns. Not things most teenagers in the UK could relate to I guess.

The strange thing is that Country influences a lot of popular music in the UK, but for a long time it was just never considered “cool”.

The times seem to be changing in the UK as more people are discovering that country music has many different sides and ranges from country and western, to bluegrass, to a hybrid of country, rock and pop. It helps that shows like Bob Harris Country on BBC Radio 2 open people’s ears to the infinite variety of the genre – Bob’s show has helped me discover some great artists like Tift Merritt, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Hank Snow.  http://www.bobharris.org/pages/default.asp

I have found out since moving to the US that the British and American ideas of what constitutes country music are surprisingly different. Many people back home in the UK called the music I make Country, I never really saw it that way. It has plenty of American influences and some rootsy sounds, but I don’t think you could call it Country. Interestingly, American audiences don’t ever seem to think of my music as Country. Perhaps because the country music industry and radio over here are so ingrained in the culture, people have a more definite idea of what’s Country, Folk, Americana or Pop.

But the line is becoming ever more blurred as the The Civil Wars recently demonstrated when they were nominated for awards in both the Folk and Country category at the Grammys, and lots of other musicians make records which could fit into two or more categories.

So maybe even the industry is finding it more difficult to see where the lines are drawn.

I think that’s a positive thing – we can all get too hung up on what label music is given and whether that genre is in fashion or not. I think if a song moves you in some way, then listen to it and enjoy it.

Anyway, even if you’re adamant that country music is not for you, I bet you can’t help smiling at a couple of these lyrics from some real country songs…

“It takes a whole lot of liquor to like her But when I’m liquored up, I like her just fine”

“I don’t know whether to kill myself or go bowling”

“When you see a deer you see Bambi, I see antlers up on the wall”

“If Whiskey Were A Woman, I’d Be Married For Sure”

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