Every Song Tells A Story: The Luckiest Man Alive

The Story

Long story short: this song is about reconnecting with an old friend.

It was specifically written for a friend of mine named Joyce. We met when we were in our late teens, both of us working for the same company but in different locations. It was a retail chain so there was always a lot of interaction between stores. Sometimes people from one store would go work in another for the day to cover for someone who was out, and so on.

Joyce worked in the Nanuet store and lived up that way. We interacted on the phone a lot and became very good friends. Sometimes you just connect with people on the right level and the friendship that’s forged is a solid one. That’s how we were.

So time went by and we lost touch after high school turned into college. We got busy and moved on but there were always funny pictures to look at and memories of those fun times.

The glories of social networking arrived and soon enough, there was a friend request from Joyce one day sitting there. How long had it been? 20 years? Really? The funny thing is that we talked and it was like no time had passed at all. That’s what good friends are all about.

So as it turned out, she married a music man who also owns a club in New York City and opened her own business in mid-town Manhattan. We met up and have been in contact ever since, be it at the club to see a band or just online. A day or two after our initial meet-up, I was inspired to somehow put down what happened in a song. For me, the friends of my youth are the ones I have the strongest bonds with today.

As you can see by the lyrics, the song is fairly literal. There are a few bits and pieces I might have thrown in for the sake of the song but for the most part, it’s all true stuff. It’s mainly the transcript of a reconnection at a table. How have you been? Tell me about the kids. Remember this or that?

The phrase “That man is the luckiest man alive” isn’t meant to be as literal as it sounds, I suppose. That part refers to something a little bigger but it’s disguised as something personal. What happens in marriages, as time goes by, is that two people get so used to the situation and so comfortable in their shoes that they forget how lucky they really are to have someone.

Call it, “The Grass is Greener Syndrome” or “The Seven Year Itch” or whatever else you like, but I feel that sometimes people don’t realize what it means to find someone really special and go the distance with them. I realize this about my wife all the time. Whenever there’s an argument, usually the next day it’s over and we can just forget it. I realize that love shifts and changes faces over time but it’s still the same love and I don’t know what I’d do without my wife. We have great kids and whatever problems we have, we’ll work through together. That’s just how we are.

So that chorus was just me reinforcing that idea to my friend saying that if this guy doesn’t know it by now, he’s the luckiest man alive to have a nice person like you for a wife. That doesn’t make the rest of us unlucky, however. We’re all lucky to have a special lady or man in our lives.

The Recording

As with a lot of the songs I record, I started with the drum track. I already had the lyrics and most of the melody in my head so I just charted it out and got to work.

The song was not that difficult to record, actually. It mainly consists of variations of a big A chord. You might think that’s a little boring, but when songs come out, I try not to fight them and this one came out that way. The bass line is quite simple. Lots of A hits with the occasional little fill-in riff.

Next, I added some keyboard parts. I put some electric piano on top of the bass which blended well. In the pre-chorus parts and the bridge, I added some regular old piano which filled out the song a little and gave it some more life.

The guitar parts are all done on the Martin acoustic – even the leads. I was adding the acoustic strumming in the main parts of the song and when I was done, I added another track and put some light crunch on the guitar sound. The acoustic, when played through this amp simulator had a nice sound that just seemed to fit the song and since I was already plugged in and holding the acoustic, I figured why not just do the lead now.

The vocal is pretty loose. I just went with it. You’re hearing mostly first takes there. The little backups were fun to do. Those “Bah Bahs” just follow the main groove of the electric piano.

In retrospect, I realize that the song might be a little too long. Once I have a drum track down and finished, I really hesitate to go back and edit the hell out of it or re-do it. Sometimes you can’t re-capture things the same way.

It wasn’t until I was doing the vocals that I noticed I had played a little too long here or there, especially in the guitar solo. The bits before the second verse drag on a bit also. When we do this song live, I’ll probably trim it down a little to make it more streamlined.

The Lyrics

Way back in the old times
When the days were slow
We were just two crazy kids
What did we know

Lost track of the hands of time
We drifted away
Never thought I’d ever see you again
Until today

Flood of memories
Ton of bricks
Emotions high in the sky
I’m so glad you found me

So tell me more about your man
I’ll tell you about my wife
Sounds like you’re really doing well
You’ve got a good life

We’re both hitched and the kids are growing
Growing too damn fast
I got time, so let’s palaver
And relive some of that glorious past

That man of yours
He got it right
I wonder if he knows
Yea, I wonder if he knows

That man’s got it in his hands
That man is the luckiest man alive
That man – doesn’t understand
That man is the luckiest man alive

Never regretted a thing in my life
I’m not about to start
You were the first girl to make me sweat
The first to put some dings in my yet unbroken heart

Second guessing is not in my nature
Clairvoyance is a poor man’s myth
Got no use for what coulda and shoulda
We had youth and we enjoyed it

So here we sit down the line
We look good and we feel fine
We both smile cause it’s funny the way
20 years feels like just one day

And I remember
The times together
Still fresh in my mind
I gotta say it one more time

That man’s got it in his hands
That man is the luckiest man alive
That man – doesn’t understand
That man is the luckiest man alive

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