Be Careful

Album: Right Here (2009)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was inspired by the Gordon Sumner composition "I Hung My Head", a short ballad about a moment of madness in which the narrator shoots a stranger dead for absolutely no reason at all, and eventually pays the ultimate price. If any unwitting musicologist were asked to put a name to the authorship of this song, the name Johnny Cash would surely appear way ahead of that of Gordon Sumner - who is better known as Sting. "I Hung My Head" is the kind of song Cash was born to write, and it should come as no surprise that he recorded it, in 2002, and it was this version in particular that inspired Boh Runga to come up with "Be Careful."
  • Unlike its inspiration which looks back in gloom, "Be Careful" looks forward optimistically:

    Yesterday was a bad day
    And I'm glad it's dead and gone
    Kiss goodbye, and so long...


    But with a strong caveat, remember where you've been, and don't make the same mistakes again, a sentiment that is echoed by her more uptempo "Would You Give Your Love."
  • Boh co-wrote "Be Careful" with Jimmy Messer, and the song is copyright Pop Shop/Chrysalis Music Publishing/Warner Chappell Music Publishing. The lady herself said: "[Messer] played me some chords and a verse melody he had been tinkering with. After coming up with the chorus and pre-chorus together we threw some vocals down. I had to go to Serj [Tankian's] place for a drink so I played him the demo when I got there. I was musing with him about how I'd like a male voice in the song and he offered to put down some ideas. When it came to doing the final recording Serj was sweet enough to take time out of his busy schedule and make a trip into Hollywood to record his vocal parts." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above

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