Warning. This post is the stuff of fan fiction. Skip it if you don’t like that sort of thing.
Like most country fans, I’ve been hearing Little Big Town’s Better Man (penned by Taylor Swift) a lot lately.
I like the melody. And Karen Fairchild’s voice gets in your head, for sure. The lyrics are compelling. And Little Big Town’s harmonies are lovely as usual.
Not familiar with this song? Here you go:
Link to video at YouTube uploaded by LittleBigTownVEVO November 1, 2016. I claim no rights to content. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph9NQ8ASmX4
It is obvious the girl had a rough time in the failed relationship. She decides she must leave when she concludes he’ll never be good enough to make it work. She’s damaging herself by staying. If she were my daughter I’d sigh a breath of relief.
“…I know I’m probably better off on my own
Than lovin’ a man who didn’t know
What he had when he had it
And I see the permanent damage you did to me
Never again, I just wish I could forget when it was magic
I wish it wasn’t four am, standing in the mirror
Saying to myself, you know you had to do it I know
The bravest thing I ever did was run…”
But what if the guy were my son? Every time I hear Better Man I find myself wondering what’s his point of view? Is he sad? Was he misunderstood? Does he have remorse?
But maybe I’ve already heard his story.
Keith Urban’s Stupid Boy, written by David Allen Berg, Sarah Buxton, Nancy Bryant, could have been written about the very same couple. But Keith Urban sang it as the guilty party.
“…She laid her heart and soul right in your hands, yeah
And you stole her every dream and you crushed her plans, yes you did
She never even knew she had a choice
And that’s what happens when the only voice she hears is telling her she can’t
You stupid boy
Oh, I’m the same old, same old stupid boy
It took a while for her to figure out she could run
But when she did, she was long gone, long gone…”
I read that when Keith Urban first heard Stupid Boy, he couldn’t wrap his head around how to narrate it. That was until his wife Nicole Kidman urged him to tell it in first person. She was right. It is powerful. And he delivers it with palpable remorse. This guy in this song knows he screwed up big time. But perhaps there’s hope for next time.
I found an official audio recording on YouTube but to my knowledge, no official video was ever released for Stupid Boy. Hear it here:
Video linked from YouTube. It was uploaded August 28, 2015, by Universal Music Group.Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKHngUiCedU I claim no rights to the content.
What do you think about my comparison? I’d be super curious about the conclusions you’ve drawn about either song. Make a comment!
Learn more about music fan Karen Bernick here. Please feel free to share this article or others. But please use photos with permission only – just email me with any requests. If you like this post, please consider following me here, liking my Facebook page Karen Loves Country or following me at Twitter. Thanks for reading! #BetterMan #LittleBigTown #KeithUrban #StupidBoy #CountryMusic