Life Ain't Always Beautiful

Album: Tough All Over (2006)
Charted: 61
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Songfacts®:

  • This depressing Country song says that eventually we'll all have problems in life, but through these tough times we realize that we're getting stronger and must remember that "Life ain't always beautiful - But it's a beautiful ride."
  • Like a lot of his songs on this album, this shows a change in Allan's music style since his wife committed suicide. Most of the album has a melancholy mood to it as a result of how much he misses her, like his earlier single, "Best I Ever Had." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Landon - Winchester, OH, for above 2
  • This was written by the Nashville songwriter Tommy Lee James, who considers it one of his favorites. He wrote it with a Dr. Seuss twist, explaining that "it's kind of a self-help song. It's one of those songs that's kind of about life, and a pick-me-up song. And it has a little bit of that Dr. Seuss simplicity.
    There aren’t that many song ideas, really," says James. "So when you’re a professional songwriter you tend to write the same ideas over and over and over. And especially if you’re in that commercial vein, there just aren’t that many ways to go. But I wrote this song with an artist, Cyndi Thomson, who’s a Country artist. And for some reason it was one of those things we wrote in an hour and a half, just kind of came out and just felt real to me. We kind of got on a roll with that. It’s funny, one door opens and you just follow that path, and it works. And you don’t have to fight it too much. I love songs like that, that just come out easily and feel natural, and feel somewhat inspired emotionally."
  • The open ending of this lyric is also something James loves about it; it could be about someone dying, or a relationship ending, or whatever the listener chooses. But one thing that really stays with him is Gary Allan's version. "To me the perfect artist that could have sung it, sung it. Gary Allan did this really aching vocal that really gave me chills. And you know, the song is only as good as the singer sometimes - as the delivery, and he sang it like he meant it." (Check out our interview with Tommy Lee James.)

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