The Ones We Couldn't Be

Album: Dig In Deep (2016)
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Songfacts®:

  • Bonnie Raitt concludes her Dig in Deep album with this heartbreaking ballad. She sings of a broken relationship accompanied only by her own resigned piano chords and Patrick Warren's synthesizer strings. "I took poetic license to mix up metaphors and meanings," Raitt told Billboard magazine. "One verse refers to a love relationship gone awry. Another is about family misunderstandings. Combine the two and you're left with a feeling of remorse that we can't be what others want and even need us to be. Despite that, I believe that love is always renewable."
  • Raitt told TeamRock about the song. "I'm really glad I was able to get it on the record," she said. "I think everybody understands that with relationships, at the time, it seems like it was the other person's fault, but then you come to a realization – sometimes months or years later – that you had a part in what made the relationship difficult. It's just heartbreaking that you can't make it work at the time.

    Sometimes you have the best intentions – either in your family or in your love relationships – and you wanted it to work, and you tried so hard, but you just weren't the one the other person needed you to be."
  • Raitt explained to American Songwriter why she made this Dig In Deep's closing track. "I still think in terms of a whole album," she admitted, "even though I know people are into downloading individual tracks now. But I'm old-school; I like putting an album together so it tells a story from the beginning to the middle to the end. Finding the right place for a ballad is the hardest, most important decision. That's why sequencing is so crucial. To me the most important song is the last one."

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