Bend

Album: Love, Shelby (2001)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Bend but don't break" is a sports cliché, but it's also good relationship advice. In this song, Shelby Lynne is calling for more communication and understanding while offering her support:

    Bend just a little bit
    Break just a little bit
    Bend just a little bit
    I won't let you fall
  • Lynne wrote this with Glen Ballard, who produced the Love, Shelby album. Ballard, who worked closely with Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews, and Wilson Phillips, had an excellent songwriting rapport with Lynne. In a Songfacts interview with Ballard, he cited "Bend" as one of his favorites from the sessions. "I love that song so much, musically and lyrically," he said. "It's about what you've got to do to be in a relationship. You've got to be willing to bend and be willing to break, and I won't let you fall. So, it's about being vulnerable, but being with somebody who will protect that vulnerability. I just loved, loved that song, and someday hopefully some people will hear it."
  • Thanks to her 1999 breakthrough album I Am Shelby Lynne, Lynne won the Grammy for Best New Artist at the 2001 ceremony (she had released five other albums by then, but apparently was still "new" to Grammy voters). Love, Shelby was her first album after taking the prize. Unfortunately, it was released on September 11, 2001, stopping it cold commercially. The album remains a hidden gem in her catalog, little heard due to circumstance.
  • Musicians on this track include Bill Payne on organ, Matt Chamberlain on drums, and Ballard on guitar.

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