The Shape I'm In

Album: Old Things New (2009)
Charted: 91

Songfacts®:

  • This is the third single from Country music artist Joe Nichols' sixth studio album, Old Things New. The song was written by Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip, the same writing trio behind his previous single "Gimme That Girl."
  • On October 13, 2007, Nichols was checked into a substance abuse rehabilitation program in an attempt to overcome alcohol addiction. The treatment succeeded and he has remained sober ever since. This song finds Nichols testifying to enjoy life more now as he sings, "it ain't much but it beats where I've been."
  • Ben Hayslip and Dallas Davidson told The Boot the story behind this song:

    Ben Hayslip: I had the title my whole life. For years I've always ask my granddad how he was doing, and he'd say, 'I'm OK for the shape I'm in …' He was always in good shape, but he would always say that. I had that idea in my notebook for eight to 10 years. For whatever reason it never hit me in a way to write it in a song. Dallas was playing a cool groove ... another one of our two-chord specials. We threw a couple lines out, and that title at that time struck me. I said, 'This is the day to write this song!' Dallas picked up the guitar, Rhett played lead, and somebody threw the ideas out."

    Dallas Davidson: The morning we wrote this song I was hung over with a pounding head in my office. Rhett and Ben came over to write. I had picked up a napkin off the desk that had a girl's number on it. That's where the line about number off the napkin and pounding head came from. From there we went off to the races. I think we just dialed into that one real quickly."
  • The song discusses moving on from a relationship. Nichols explained to The Boot: "It's very light, as far as the lyric goes, about dusting off the cobwebs and wiping the fog out of the eyes and getting over the breakup. I'm going to do some fun stuff, I'm doing alright. That's the song. I love the lyric. I love the song. I love the simplicity of the song, but it's got a great message. Anything that's optimistic is a great message."
  • The video is a tribute to military servicemen who have been injured in the line of duty and their struggles to go on with daily life and features three real life members of the armed forces. "What we wanted to do with the video is take it to a different level, and we wanted to do something really special," Joe explained to The Boot. "We wanted to make a video that pays tribute to guys who have faced enormous challenges protecting us. These are guys who do the hardest job on the planet and have come home with enormous challenges and have had to readapt to their surroundings. What's special about it is the way they capture their attitude about it. It's not just that, 'Hey! I'm recognizing that this guy lost a limb and he's got a prosthetic leg and that's how he's got to go about his life.' It's the way the director, Trey Fanjoy, captured the smile on his face, like 'Hey! I know what's going on. I know that I've got something to overcome here, but I'm doing alright. I'm getting better. I'm going about my business, and this is not going to stop me.'

    That's the powerful part of the video for me - you'd be amazed at what you could do when you're given adversity, when you're given a tough situation," he added. "You'd be amazed at what you could do when you believe in yourself. If people out there facing money problems, if they're facing family problems, addiction problems, if they're facing custody problems, any kind of adversity, self-doubt, the faith that you can overcome anything, even the most impossible of situations, that faith is what carries you through. And that's what carried these guys through and gave them a positive attitude, when they could probably have more of a gripe than any of us."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

Ron and Russell Mael of SparksSongwriter Interviews

The men of Sparks on their album Hippopotamus, and how Morrissey handled it when they suggested he lighten up.

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

Todd RundgrenSongwriter Interviews

Todd Rundgren explains why he avoids "Hello It's Me," and what it was like producing Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.

Colbie CaillatSongwriter Interviews

Since emerging from MySpace with her hit "Bubbly," Colbie has become a top songwriter, even crafting a hit with Taylor Swift.

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.