Beautiful Man

Album: The Kitchen Tapes (2003)

Songfacts®:

  • McKenna told us: "I think it was just like this stream of just words that sort of popped out of my mouth one day. Maybe it's about my husband and how I see him. I think he's a better person than he thinks he is. I see him has a beautiful guy, and I'm constantly reminding him that he is," says singer/songwriter Lori McKenna, about the inspiration for this song. And she continues, "I think it was just sort of one of those things where it didn't get changed much, it was just sort of like the way it popped out. I had this mini disk and I was recording things rather than writing them down. I made sure everything rhymed or whatever, but it was just one of those days where the song just sort of popped out really quickly. Like 'Fireflies,' I think I wrote that song in like 15 minutes. Those songs that come really easy are usually the ones that stick around the longest. It's funny."
  • Being a prolific songwriter means you never know when inspiration is going to strike, so you have to be prepared. Says McKenna, "I'm almost always writing with the kids running around, which is why I got a mini disk, because I could just turn it on and leave it running. You have to put the guitar down every ten minutes and do something with somebody. And I don't really remember exactly what I was doing, but I know that at that time when I wrote 'Beautiful Man' I was pregnant with my daughter, and I was home. At that point I only wrote songs at home, but since then I've done a lot of co-writing, so I'll write in Nashville a lot. But at that point I'm sure I was just sitting in my living room somewhere."
  • McKenna: "The best songs for me always come with the melody and the words at the same time. Like the words fit into that melody because they popped out when you were just sitting there trying to find words. And it's funny, because a lot of times I don't even know what the song's about until I get to the end, and I don't really know who that person is until I get to the end. Or they start out as me but they end up as somebody totally different, which is usually the case. But I think with this song, you know, it's funny, at the time I wrote this song, I was working with a different manager who loved the melody of the song, but he didn't like the words. I wanted to put it on my album "Bitter Town," I wanted to cut that song in the studio and put it on "Bitter Town," and nobody agreed with me. And so I let it go. And I remember having a talk with him about it. He was like, 'Well, just the words, they're not great, they're not really great words.' And it was one of those things where I really put my foot down and I was like, I know what the words mean. I know what I'm thinking about when they came up, so I'm not going to go back and try to rewrite something to make it more acceptable for everybody else. I wrote it for myself." (Check out our interview with Lori McKenna.)

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