If You Ask

Album: Fireflies (2005)


  • In working with any singer, it is important for the songwriter to convey the feelings behind the words so the singer has a better understanding of how to perform it. Country superstar Faith Hill was easy, says singer/songwriter Lori McKenna, because she understood this song right away. McKenna told Songfacts this story: "Well, it's funny, the first time I met Faith we were talking about this song, and it was like, 'explain the song to us.' And I was sitting there, and I just said, 'Well, to me it's a love song.' It's not a typical love song, but to me it's this woman that just loves this guy through all his faults and she's gonna stick it out and learn to live with it because of this love she has for him. And I feel like he loves her, too, but he's just got this problem. People always make fun of me, like 'if Lori's gonna write a song there's gonna be one alcoholic in it or it's just not a Lori McKenna song.' I come from an Irish family, but I don't know if you really could find somewhere in this family that alcohol hasn't affected, or some sort of addiction of that type hasn't affected their family somehow. My husband grew up in an alcoholic family, and it's one of those things that I'm kind of paranoid about in my own relationship with him. So the poor guy goes out and has a couple of drinks and then I write a song about it. It's why my husband doesn't go to my shows. But to me it's just a love song. It's just this undying love that she has for him and she's gonna figure it out, and when he needs her, she'll be there."
  • McKenna speaks about the guy in the song: "I think that he loves her. I wrote the song, so I guess I must have had him in my head. But it's just that he loves her, too, and he needs her. I don't really see him as a bad person. I just see him as a guy who has some trouble, and thank God he has her to get him through. I'm not saying it's right. But I think it's just something I've seen in a lot of families and a lot of people and friends, and even bits of it in myself. I've definitely had days with my own husband where it's like, "Well, we don't want to end up like this," learn from the mistakes of the father, that type of thing. So it's just one of those things where I think they're good people and they love each other, maybe they're not even trying to figure it out, they're just trying to live through it."


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