Sounds Like Life to Me

Album: Sounds Like Life (2009)
Charted: 84
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Songfacts®:

  • Working its way into the Top 40 Country charts after its release in 2009, this song was the second single from Worley's sixth studio album, Sounds Like Life. In our interview with Darryl Worley, we found out that writing from the heart is the only way he knows how to do it. He draws from his own life experiences, and says that if he doesn't write "real," then it just doesn't work.
    So it might go without saying that this song is culled from personal experiences he's either had or witnessed.
    "If I have any gift, it's probably a knack for timing, and just writing songs about real life and things that engage people," he says. "Because that's what radio obviously expects from me. And so when we give them that, we have success. And that's what I do naturally. So maybe all of that is a good thing."
    So what was the personal experience that inspired this song? Worley told The Boot: "A close friend's wife had called and told me what was going on with her husband, and I went to him. I went to this old rickety bar. He was there, and I was trying to talk him out of that place, because he had been sober for seven or eight years. I just hated to see him relapse like that. He went down this laundry list of negative things, and that's just what came out of my mouth: I said, 'Well, it sounds like life to me. We're all in the same boat...'
    What I told him was, 'You've been in here for over an hour. Let's me and you go take a walk, and if we don't see somebody in 15 minutes that's in worse shape than either one of us, I'll pay your bills for a month.' The message was, it doesn't matter how far down you get, if you open your eyes up and take your blinders off, you'll see somebody in a matter of minutes that will make you go, 'OK, I get it now.' Long story short, eventually I was able to coax him out of there and got him back home. It was a happy ending.
    For years, I carried that song around with me, and I pitched it to several different writers. Nobody seemed to get it. So Phil O'Donnell and Wynn Varble were coming over to my house one day, and I had been working on it and had a little bit of a melody and lyrics. I said, 'Look, you've passed on this idea two or three different times now [but] I'm writing this song. We don't have to write it today. We can write something else. But I'm going to write this song, so if nobody wants to write it with me, I'm going to write it by myself and I'm going to get all the money!' Something about that must have spurred their interest, because a few hours later we had it finished, and we were off at a Mexican restaurant eating lunch!"
  • Worley co-wrote this song with Wynn Varble (who has also penned several of Worley's other singles) and Phil O'Donnell. Worley commented: "What's ironic about that song is Wynn, Phil and I wrote it several years ago, but it really speaks to what people are going through with their jobs and families right now."
  • Worley wrote this song several years before he put it on one of his albums. Other artists had already recorded it, but it had gone nowhere. "A lot of people have thought down through the years that it was a hit song. But," says Worley, "I knew it was a hit song, and I knew it well enough I could bet the single release on it. And it proved to be a really big boost for my career at the time, we had a major hit. And I couldn't be more happy with it."
    Maybe it was the honesty in his voice that folks related to, maybe it was the timing of the release. "Who knows, man?" says Darryl. "I think everybody in the world, especially at the time of that release and now, could totally relate to that. I don't know how many people can say, 'I would have probably just thrown in the towel if it hadn't been for that song. But I just realized, hey, I'm not the only one going through this, and I gotta get my butt up and get back in the swing of things, and find a way to make this work."

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