You Can't Have Everything

Album: The Reason Why (2010)
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Songfacts®:

  • Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town lost her husband to a heart attack in 2005, and that event inspired this song. Phillip Sweet of LBT told us: "We kind of vicariously lived through Kimberly's emotion of her losing her husband to a heart attack several years back. We let her play the role of the actress, of the loss that you experience in the song. But she really experienced a loss of death in her own marriage. So there was a lot of emotion to dig from in there. But we started writing that in the previous record, and then when we came around to writing for The Reason Why, we dusted it off, and that's when we changed the 'oh well' to 'I guess.' And everything came together, and we were like, 'this song feels perfect.' It says it."
  • The band started recording this song for their 2007 album A Place to Land, but they couldn't finish it. Speaking of how Schlapman gets through the song and reviving it for The Reason Why, Sweet says: "I think she was at the place where she was strong enough to play that emotion out without it overwhelming her. I think she had a few moments where it was emotional, but she was strong enough to step out and come back in. It wasn't like just total breakdown, which it had been in the previous record. That's why we couldn't go there and really make that for A Place to Land. It wasn't ready.

    A lot of songs can stick around and then they find their life, they find their home. So to us, we always just try to stay open and we always try to sift through some of the ones that didn't make it from the last one. Very few of those even make it to the next process, because you always want to write the next thing or the new thing or this new idea you're inspired by."

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