The Secret of Life

Album: Faith (1998)
Charted: 46
  • This was written by singer/songwriter Gretchen Peters. "I usually introduce this song, 'What if the Dalai Lama were a bartender?'" Peters told Songfacts. "It started as a little bit of nothing, really. I had a little bit of success with songs like 'Let That Pony Run,' and 'Independence Day,' a lot of what people in Nashville call 'Women's Songs,' which is a term that just makes my skin crawl. But songs from the point of view of women, whatever. I bristled a little bit at that, and I thought, I've spent like 10 years playing bars, hanging around guys. I know a thing or two about men. So that's how that song started.

    I just started with this sort of riffing on this 'Couple of guys sitting around drinking' kind of line. And it marched into sort of barroom philosophy at that point. I think my favorite line in that song is 'The secret of life, try not to hurry, but don't wait.' I love that sort of Zen-ness of all that. And once I sort of had my sights on that, I knew what I wanted to do, and it was just not that hard to write. It was just all about mostly listing things that to me really are the secret of life.

    The overall sentiment in the song is: it's moments. It's just moments, that's all it is. It's not one big thing, it's not a self-help book, it's not in a self-help book, it's just moments, and they come and they go, and the trick is knowing you're happy when you're happy, and being in the moment. It's very Zen, really, the whole message in that song."
  • "The guys in the song are just a couple of loser guys. You know, average Joes, who maybe know something that those of us who spend too much time in our heads don't know. But the bartender's the one who's really on the ball. The bartender's actually The One. The guys, they're just shootin' the bull. The bartender, he's the one. He's the Dalai Lama."
  • Peters says that since the bartender in the song's name is Sam, she thinks it would have been great if they'd gotten Ted Danson, who played bartender Sam Malone on the sitcom Cheers, to appear as the bartender in the Faith Hill video. (Check out our interview with Gretchen Peters. Her website is gretchenpeters.com.)
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 3

  • Brit from Nashville, TnRight before Faith was to shoot the video for this song the building was caught on fire. It was impossible to use the inside for the video still, but they still used the outside of the building. They shot the inside shots at anther location. Great video.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhAn all time classic song & video. Somehow I think Faith Hill resembles Ashley Judd in the video...I like how she switches off from glammed-up to down-to-earth looks. Gretchen Peters, a fabulous songwriter. We named our bunny Gretchen after her! And she's right...life IS about moments, and the secret is to realize that you're happy when you're happy. And ain't nothin' like a good cup a coffee.
  • David from Hanove, WvThis song says so much when I hear it..It gets you to really think about the little things in life that we all take for granted at times..We all look for the big picture when its usually right in front of our noses and we dont realize it..
see more comments

Bryan AdamsSongwriter Interviews

What's the deal with "Summer of '69"? Bryan explains what the song is really about, and shares more of his songwriting insights.

Is That Song Public Domain?Fact or Fiction

Are classic songs like "Over The Rainbow" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the public domain?

Chris Robinson of The Black CrowesSongwriter Interviews

"Great songwriters don't necessarily have hit songs," says Chris. He's written a bunch, but his fans are more interested in the intricate jams.

Dino Cazares of Fear FactorySongwriter Interviews

The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?Fact or Fiction

Bradley Cooper, Michael J. Fox, Rami Malek, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney: Which actors really sang in their movies?