‘The Sound Of Your Goodbye (Sticks And Stones)’
Michael Heeney and I were working on a song and this hook line came out of it. I can't remember who said it, but we both looked at each other with that look you get when an idea flies by that you know is going to be great. There's a six-string bass on this that gives it that "Marlboro" guitar sound I've always loved.
‘My Blue Angel’
I'm an airplane freak, and I was looking through a magazine that had this beautiful picture of The Blue Angels, and I said, "Wow, a girl can be a blue angel." The more I said it over and worked with it, the more it turned into a yodel, and thanks to Kim Williams and Philip Douglas, it turned into a great song.
‘If I had To Do It Over’
That's looking back on some wilder days I wish I'd taken a different approach, but I guess that's how you learn and grow. I'm proud and happy to say I've got a great relationship with my daughter now, but this is a way of saying "I'm sorry" for some of how I was when she was growing up.
‘There Ain't Nothin' Wrong With The Radio’
I'd had this idea for quite awhile and wasn't getting anywhere with it until my writing pal Buddy Brock said one day, "Why don't you write about Daisy?" Daisy, as anyone who's heard my first album knows, is my beat-up old Corolla. Hit me like a ton of bricks. So he and I sat down and the song just jumped on the paper.
‘Read Between The Lines’
Like "You've Got To Stand For Something," this one was inspired by my father, combined with what I've been through in life. It's just telling you, "Don't listen to what a man's saying--look at him." That may be a hillbilly trait. I can usually look in a man's eyes and tell how dangerous he is, whether I oughta turn my back to him or not.
I was trying to think of something to say about "The Man That Came Between Us" when I introduce it in the show, and I followed that thought into "Why did God make men and women so different?" I don't like to go to the mall. She hates football. Guys are nasty, slimy, puppy dog tails, snails... Good grief! How could a woman love something like that? Ain't but one reason. 'Cause I got a heart. The fact that our hearts are very loving, very understanding, was the basis for this song.
‘These Sweet Dreams’
My songwriting heroes are Whitey Shafer, Max D. Barnes, Hank Cochran--the old-timers. When you hear one of their songs, it's so full of maturity. They take words and somehow build them into this hammer, and once you're through with that verse, whomp, it's driven a nail through you and there's no way to mistake the thought. It takes awhile for young writers like me to mature to that, but every once in awhile this little glimmer of music passes through where you're at. Sometimes you're so buried you can't see it go by, but Butch Curry and I happened to look up at the right time. It was like this song had been hidden in a catalog for 50 years, and all of a sudden we found it. I'm very proud of this song.
‘I Was Born With A Broken Heart’
This was the first decent song I was involved in when I came to Nashville, and it came about because Jim McBride was willing to back up and give a greenhorn a chance. He agreed to write with me, knowing I was learning this craft. It was like he was putting me through a class, teaching me how to bring thoughts out and how to put them into the right words. I thank him for pulling a peanut out of the pile and giving me a chance to write with a champ. I hope he's happy with what I've become, because I'm sure proud of him and thankful.
‘I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way’
That's just me saying I'm very proud of what I am, musically and personally, and that I want people to listen and say, "Hey, yeah, that's me. I like me; I believe in me."
‘I Miss Misbehavin'’
This was written with two on my pals, Mark Collie and Charlie Craig. It was the day after a Nashville Christmas party, and we were all sitting around about half hung over, and the last thing we wanted to think about was writing a song. We got to talking about the good old days, when we were 18 and 19, and could drink and party all night, take a shower at 6 a.m. and go on in to work. It was, "Why can't we do that anymore?" and then Mark came up with the title. People love to hear it because they remember....