Awful, Beautiful Life

Album: Darryl Worley (2004)
Charted: 30

Songfacts®:

  • Songwriter Harley Allen was working on this song when Darryl Worley walked into the room. "He had this whole hook line, it was 'I love this crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic awful, beautiful life,' Worley told us. "He was planning this sort of blue-grassy feel."
    Already thinking Allen had a hit on his hands with the song, when he asked Worley to help him finish it, Darryl's first thought was, "What can I add to that?"
    So at Allen's behest, the two proceeded to make the song personal, and add Darryl's story to it. "Every name that's mentioned, Mom and Dad, and the brothers, and cousin Michael in Iraq, it's all real stuff. And I guess that was my job in that particular co-writing situation," he says. "And it was one of the few big hit songs that I've ever had that I was a writer on. I told Harley, I said, 'Man, I don't want you to give me anything.' And I just really felt like the foundation for the song was there. It was already done. The melody and everything, it was a beautiful thing. But," he adds with a laugh, "I'm not an idiot either. So we wrote it that day, and I did what he asked me to do, I brought my personal elements, and everything about that song is honest and real. But Harley Allen does not need Darryl Worley to write a song, I promise you that." (Read more in our interview with Darryl Worley.)
  • Regarding the lyrics, "We said a prayer for Cousin Michael in Iraq / We're all aware that he may never make it back," Worley says Cousin Michael did make it back, and he's doing just fine. "He's got three little girls and a little boy. He's a baby-making machine. He's a safety coordinator at a large paper mill, so he's working, and he's taking care of those babies."
  • This was the first single from Worley's fourth studio album, and went to #1 on the Country charts, a position it held for 2 weeks.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Mike Campbell

Mike CampbellSongwriter Interviews

Mike is lead guitarist with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and co-writer of classic songs like "Boys Of Summer," "Refugee" and "The Heart Of The Matter."

90s Music Quiz 1

90s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

First question: Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson appeared in videos for what artist?

Alice Cooper

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust

Lajon Witherspoon of SevendustSongwriter Interviews

The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.

Trucking Songs That Were #1 Hits

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

Harold Brown of War

Harold Brown of WarSongwriter Interviews

A founding member of the band War, Harold gives a first-person account of one of the most important periods in music history.