Lori McKenna — “Now I Know You” Lyrics

(“Now I Know You” is a free download for joining the mailing list on the official Lori McKenna website. Also, buy Lori McKenna’s album Lorraine. Additional Lori McKenna lyrics can be found here.)

Now I Know You

The space between stars
The dark place that sometimes heavies the heart
I let it hold mine
I didn’t know what I would do
But now I know you

I put it behind me
And learned to be happy
I busied my life
With someone to hold me
It was the best love my heart ever knew
But know I know you

Now I know how the leaves feel the moment it rains
Not I know the moon’s pride every time the days change
Now I know how beautiful the sound of one name can be

I won’t say it’s not cold
I wont say it’s all easy
But troubles are just no match
For the strength that you give me

I used to think that love could be cruel
But now I know you

Now I know how the leaves feel the moment it rains
Not I know the moon’s pride every time the days change
Now I know how beautiful the sound of one name can be
Now I know
Now I know
Now I know the reason we’re put on this Earth
Now I know how every prayer needs to be heard
Now I know a love I couldn’t possibly ever deserve
Because now I know you.

I used to think love could be cruel
But now I know you
Now I know you

Now I know
Now I know you
Now I know you

Now I know
Now I know you

Lori McKenna — “That’s How You Know” Lyrics

(“That’s How You Know” is from Lori McKenna’s album Lorraine. Additional Lori McKenna lyrics can be found here.)
That’s How You Know

When you take the train to mid-town and have coffee by yourself
Pull the pictures from the drawer and put them back up on the shelf
When you hear the sound of church bells and it don’t make you want to cry
You’re not getting drunk just so you can hide

That’s how you know
That’s how you know

When you open up the curtains, start answering the phone
Stop driving around for hours ’cause you hate going home
You can talk about it, even say their name
When you start thinking you’ll survive even though you’ll never be the same

That’s how you know
That’s how you know
That’s how you know
That’s how you know

There’s no such thing as a long goodbye,
When you wish it would have lasted your whole life

You don’t need a cigarette or a pill to help you sleep
When you don’t end every night on the hard wood on your knees
When you wake up one morning surprised to see the world exists
And your eyes ain’t full of tears and your heart ain’t full of bitterness

That’s how you know
That’s how you know
That’s how you know
That’s how you know

When you’re thankful that you ever knew a love this strong
When you finally find the courage to write this song

That’s how you know
That’s how you know

That’s how you know you’re moving on.

My Gift To David (via Calluna)

When I wrote about a month ago about getting a preview of the upcoming Lori McKenna album, I mentioned that it was setting the bar high for the Christmas season. Heather took that challenge, and came back with a gift that was a definite Christmas highlight for me — that perfect combination of something that’s a great item in and of itself, but that also involved a lot of thought and time and effort and showed that she knows me and cares.

My Gift To David David introduced me to Lori McKenna music Feb. 25, 2008. At least that’s the date I added to my iTunes “Heather Stuff,” a CD of music David gave to me. On the CD were the first four Lori McKenna songs I ever heard: Witness to Your Life, What’s One More Time, Your Next Lover and Unglamorous. I had actually heard Lori before on Oprah when she performed Fireflies, which she wrote, with Faith Hill, who recorded it. But I didn’t know she wrote more or … Read More

via Calluna

Dry Your Eyes Beneath The Night Sky

I’m going to have a review soon of the forthcoming Lori McKenna album, Lorraine.

It’ll be after this weekend, after I get a chance to really marinate in the album. Which, in turn, will be after I stop playing Rocket Sciencerepeatedly.

It’s not necessarily that Rocket Science is the best song on the album; it’s just that’s where space-geek me, intrigued by the title, started listening to the album. And I’m still too enthralled with the beauty of that first song to move on.

For over three years, since Lori’s last album, Unglamorous,came out, there’s been a gradual trickle of new songs from her; one or two or three at a time. Slowly enough that I could afford to spend days savoring each one. It’s been a thrill each time I’ve discovered there was a new Lori McKenna song I hadn’t heard before to enjoy.

So, yeah, last night, finally being able to hear the 10 new Lori songs on Lorraine that I’d never heard before, well, I was just giddy. I’d be listening to songs that are like a straight injection of raw hurt shot right into the heart, and yet I’m gleeful over these new treasures.

And, to be sure, even more gleeful because I’m getting to hear these new songs almost two months early, getting to hear them before most everyone else.

And … getting to hear them early because Lori McKenna wanted me to. Like, not in a she-wanted-people-not-to-have-to-wait sense, but like in a Lori McKenna said to share the album with David Hitt sense. Um, that’s kinda awesome.

It’s funny what can reduce me to pure fanboy squeee, but that e-mail yesterday did. I wrote earlier this week about how I was looking forward to listening to the album and couldn’t wait. Turns out Lori read what I wrote, liked the stuff I’ve written about her on here, and asked her publicist to share the album with me. I left work as early as I could so I would have time to download it that night, and have been listening to nothing but that since. It’s hard to imagine a musician that would mean more coming from. There are plenty of musicians who write music I like, who may be as talented, but Lori is the one whose talent I most envy, the one I wish I could be like.

Her music is emotion. She doesn’t write about emotion, she creates it. She captures it and conjures it. She understands the way hearts work in an incredibly real way, and  recreates the secret inner workings of the heart in words and notes so that they can be moved from one heart to another. You don’t so much listen to her music as feel it. I wish I had her intuitive grasp of why and how we hurt and love and lose and strive. I wish I had her command of words to convey that. Add to that the fact that all writers have a “voice” in their writing — the character and personality that comes through in their writing. Lori is blessed that her incredibly distinctive singing voice is exactly the auditory equivalent of her writing voice. She sings with the same raw edge with which she writes.

OK, this is really starting to turn into the review. I’ll stop here until I’ve listened to the album more.

Have I mentioned squeeeee? Yeah, yesterday set the bar for the Christmas season pretty high. I’m a happy man. A heart-ripped-out, soul-wrenched happy man. Thank you, Lori!


It was sort of early Christmas present, but one that I have to wait two months to fully receive.

For a moment there last week, I was prematurely excited. I saw a tweet about Amazon in Europe listing Lori McKenna’s new album, Lorraine,and went to see whether it was also listed in the U.S. version. And, indeed, the Amazon app on my iPhone showed me that the mp3 download version of the album was available for $8.99. I rushed to a computer as quickly as I could, only to discover that while the downloads are listed, they aren’t, technically, available until January 25.

But it was exciting seeing the track listing. I’ve been a little “worried” about it for a while. If you’re not familiar with my long-standing love of Lori McKenna, here’s an old post I wrote that sort of summarizes things.

Lori’s last album, the brilliant Unglamorous,came out just over three years ago, and since then, I’ve collected a good number of unreleased tracks that have leaked out in a variety of places, and I was beginning to worry that I was going to basically have Lorraine before it was ever released.

Looking at the track list, however, there are only three songs that I already have — The Luxury of Knowing, If He Tried and Sweet Disposition. (I was curious as to whether Luxury of Knowing would be included after it was included on the new Keith Urban album as a Target exclusive track.) Which means that there are 10 new Lori McKenna songs on the album that I’ve never heard before. This makes me a happy man.

In a weird way, seeing which songs weren’t on the album made me happy as well — I’m glad knowing that paying attention over the last three years means that I’m not missing out on some incredible songs that aren’t included. At one point way back when, Lori said that “Make Every Word Hurt” might be the title track for the album; and it would have merited it. As it is, it’s not included. And it amazes me that Lori has such a great notebook that something like “Like No One’s Ever Hurt You At All” could be a lost gem.

For now, though, there’s that two month wait. I read somewhere that she’s planning a local release of the album in December before the nationwide January release, so now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to track down a copy.

After all, there clearly could be no purpose other than teasing me personally to announce that there’s a Lori McKenna song I haven’t heard named named Rocket Science.

Lori McKenna — “If He Tried” Lyrics

(“If He Tried” is from Lori McKenna’s album Lorraine. Additional Lori McKenna lyrics can be found here.)

If He Tried

It’s finally breaking me down.
To my credit, I feel like I held on as long as I could.
I feel like I recognize myself now;
I’d teach my heart to lie if I thought that it would.

I don’t need the whole world to think I’m special,
I don’t need him to hang the stars in the sky,
Pay for all my sins or save me from drowning,
But wouldn’t it be nice
If he tried.

It’s finally tearing me apart;
An impossible mending you can’t see from the outside
And no one knows where all the pieces are.
“Do you love me?” I say. “Sure,” he replies.

I don’t need the whole world to think I’m special,
I don’t need him to hang the stars in the sky,
Pay for all my sins or save me from drowning,
But wouldn’t it be nice
But wouldn’t it be nice
If his eyes would light up when he spoke my name,
If he’d run to catch me in his arms at the end of the day.

I don’t need the whole world to think I’m special,
I don’t need him to pull the stars from the sky
Just to string up my name in tiny sparkling lights,
But wouldn’t it be nice
But wouldn’t it be nice
If he tried.


This post is one of a series I’m writing as part of my participation as an official blogger for COUNTRY Financial/Cotton States’ Road Trips and Guitar Picks tour program, covering Jewel’s June 13 concert in Huntsville, where I had backstage access.

The rest of my pre-concert Jewel blogging can be read here.

Contrary to the promise of opening act Radney Foster, Jewel did not, in fact, rock.

I wasn’t really expecting her to, despite the potential for rocking raised by the last time I saw her at Lilith Fair 13 years ago. Given that this concert was billed as an intimate, acoustic evening with Jewel, I wasn’t really expecting rocking.

Nor was I expecting how incredibly the evening showcased Jewel both as a singer and a songwriter.

The evening started off on a rather cool note. Having been selected as official blogger for COUNTRY Financial/Cotton States’ Road Trips and Guitar Picks tour program, a good friend and I had the opportunity to go backstage before the show, have our picture made with Jewel and be part of an exclusive session. The picture making part, to be honest, didn’t set the bar very high. Jewel was in a curtained-off booth, so you couldn’t see her until it was your turn to have your picture made. Everyone went in in groups of four, no more, no less, stood next to Jewel, who didn’t move, had the picture made, no autographs, no conversation, and then filed back out. Jewel did make eye contact, smile and speak briefly on our way out, but that was it.

Once that obligatory part was done, however, the Jewel who came into the backstage room with us a few minutes later was friendly and personable. During a question and answer session, she joked with long-time fans and gave great responses to others.

I hadn’t planned on asking anything, but couldn’t resist the opportunity. I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship that artists have with their material. Once you have a hit song, you’re expected to play it forever. In Jewel’s case, she wrote “Who Will Save Your Soul” twenty years ago. There are things I wrote two years ago that I no longer identify with in the same way, and, frankly, some I’m just embarrassed by. I can’t imagine having to put my heart into things I wrote as a teenager. I asked her she related to songs differently as she was at different places in life.

Jewel didn’t answer the question the way I was thinking, in terms of continuing to sing old songs. Instead, she took it in a different direction, explaining that anytime she releases an album, she goes back through her collection of unreleased songs to see if there is anything she feels differently about or has new ideas on. She said that it’s funny to see things that she has written that she herself understands in a different way than she did when she wrote them. I talked about how I’ve experienced that with Paul Simon songs over the years, identifying more with the emotion in songs as I experience more in life. It was neat hearing Jewel talk about having that same experience with her own material, and, as a writer, I can completely understand how that could happen.

After the Q&A session, Jewel performed an unreleased song for us that I really hope she someday puts on an album. For the record, even in those close quarters and laid-back setting, she has an amazing voice. The chorus went “there’s a hole in my heart in the shape of you,” which I’m including in this blog entry mainly so that I can occasionally check and see if the song has been released yet.

Jewel in concert. Photo courtesy Kristy Hill.

And then, it was time for the actual concert. The opening act, as I mentioned, was Radney Foster. I immediately bought one of his songs, “A Little Revival,” from his new album off of iTunes, as well as Keith Urban’s cover of Foster’s song, “I’m In.” Good stuff.

Jewel’s set was fantastic. The stripped-down, acoustic setting really showed off the power of her voice, and she interspersed between the songs bits of her life story, which put the songs in context. Fascinating stuff for anyone, I would imagine, but for me, it was a really cool peek behind the curtain at her process as a songwriter.

Jewel has always had fun showing off a bit; certainly that was evident in her encore performance in which she came back on stage to yodel for an enthralled audience — “Want me to do it faster?” But the crowd really got into it when she showed off a bit as a songwriter by singing her “Huntsville Song,” a song she had written before the concert about Huntsville. I’m sure she has to have a template that she uses and fills in local details, but, even so, wow! Great stuff!

(ADDENDUM: OK, I’m embarrassed. Jewel herself read my post, and let me know on Twitter that every song is written completely from scratch. Take my amazement at the song, and multiply it by a couple of orders of magnitude. WOW!!!! She’s got a busy tour schedule, so creating songs for each city as she tours is mind-blowing. As is, for the record, the fact that Jewel just read my blog. How cool is that!?)

At the concert, you could pay to be able to download a recording of the night’s concert, and the Huntsville Song by itself was a great reason to do so. (I had been planning on buying the recording anyway; I’m too modest to let myself brag too much, so I have to be passive-aggressive about my bragging. I figured I could get the recording and play songs from it in the future when people would hear it, and then be able to say, as if it were completely random, “Oh, hey, you hear that song playing? That’s actually from this time I got to …”)

Of course, the Huntsville Song was both one of the high points and low points of the concert for me. Sure, it was great, but I had a bet with my friend Heather, who also went to the concert, as to whether she would play her version of Sweet Home Alabama, which she recorded for the soundtrack of the movie by the same name. The smart money seemed to be that she would, so I agreed to a bet that the loser would bake cobbler and bring it to work for the winner, a culinary feat neither of us had attempted before. When I heard the Huntsville Song, I figured the odds she would do both it and Sweet Home were pretty low, and I was right. So, I’m going to have to figure out how to fix cobbler. Given my skills in the kitchen, I imagine it will be a rather pyrrhic victory for Heather.

Given Jewel’s recent foray into country music, I was a little surprised that the entire concert was performed without a hint of twang; I never would have guessed that she’s had a genre change since I’d last seen her. The set list was a great mix of new songs, unfamiliar songs and old favorites.

All in all, it was a great evening — an awesome concert, a unique opportunity and an incredible experience!

Tonight’s The Night

This post is one of a series I’m writing as part of my participation as an official blogger for COUNTRY Financial/Cotton States’ Road Trips and Guitar Picks tour program, covering Jewel’s June 13 concert in Huntsville, where I’ll have backstage access.

So tonight’s the night! After a couple of weeks of me blogging about it, a friend and I will be attending Jewel’s concert at the Von Braun Center here in Huntsville, and meeting Jewel backstage! (It occurs to me this may be a wasted post, since few people read my blog on Sunday, and the concert will be in the past tomorrow.)

This once-in-a-lifetime experience includes a backstage performance by Jewel, a question and answer session, and a group photo with Jewel. The Backstage Experience will also include a hospitality menu of hors d’oeuvres and beverages. You will be escorted back to the theater to enjoy the show.

So, yeah, I’m kinda excited about it. I’ve probably said most of what I have to say about it over the last couple of weeks, though I’m sure I’ll have more to say after. I didn’t realize how close Jewel and I are in age until very recently, and so I’m looking even more forward to the Q&A session because of that. There are a handful of artists that I really like that are about my age, and it’s been really neat to follow them as they’ve matured along with me. From the sound of Sweet & Wild, Jewel’s at a really great place in her life right now.

On a side note, my friend Heather is also going with a friend of hers to the concert, and challenged me to a bet as to whether or not Jewel will perform her version of Sweet Home Alabama tonight. I’m taking the stance that she will, based on other concerts I’ve been to where the artists have played their songs about the place they’re playing. At stake, homemade blackberry cobbler. Neither one of us has ever made blackberry cobbler before, and I really can’t cook at all, so it should be an interesting bet. (A year ago, I made a big bowl of “blackberry thing” that kinda resembled cobbler. In my defense, kinda, it wasn’t supposed to.) Could be a pyrrhic victory for my office-mates if I lose, so root for her to sing it.

The Jewel Cases

I’ve actually seen Jewel in concert once before.

I wrote recently about the fact that I’m going to Jewel’s June 13 concert in Huntsville, and that I’ll have backstage access as an official blogger for COUNTRY Financial/Cotton States’ Road Trips and Guitar Picks tour program, which gets fans involved in the concerts — you can become a Roadie to be eligible for prizes, and there’s a sweepstakes to win an all-expense-paid trip to one of the concerts.

This will be my second time to see Jewel in concert. The first was 13 years ago, during the Atlanta stop in the first Lilith Fair tour. (On a related note, not only am I about to see Jewel in concert again, I just bought my tickets today to Lilith Fair.)

The line-up for the 1997 Atlanta Lilith show was rather impressive — starting with then-current one-hit-wonder Abra Moore (“Four-Leaf Clover”), Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles, then-hot Fiona Apple, Joan Osborne, Emmylou Harris, Jewel and Sarah McLachlan.

The first three acts were lagniappe, but were fun. Joan Osborne and Emmylou Harris, I wish I were seeing now instead of then. They both put on great shows, but my musical tastes were still far too immature to really appreciate them. At that point, I still knew Joan Osborne solely from the “One Of Us” song, which is probably the least Joan Osborne-y song there is. I’m practically kicking myself over the great songs I must have just sat through waiting for her to play that. Emmylou Harris, I doubt I’d even heard of before Lilith Fair. Ah, the folly of youth.

And then, there was Sarah McLachlan and Jewel.

This being Lilith Fair, Sarah McLachlan was closing act. This being late 1997, Jewel was the superstar. To be honest, me being a huge Sarah McLachlan fan, I was more interested in hearing her, even if Jewel was the bigger name at the time. And, to be sure, Sarah didn’t disappoint. She earned her place in the closing slot. Brilliant show.

But this post is about Jewel, right?

At the time of the concert, Jewel’s first album, “Pieces Of You,” had been out for a couple of years, though “Foolish Games” had peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 not terribly long before, so she was still very much a popular act. (Ah, Wikipedia, provider of great music history information. Did you know that “Pieces of You” was one of the best-selling debut albums ever?)

Point being, though, her debut album had been out long enough that she was already looking ahead to the future, and a decent amount of her concert was new material. Now, keep in mind, this was very early folksy ingenue Jewel, whose then-only album had a song with the lyrics, “So please be careful with me, I’m sensitive / And I’d like to stay that way.” It was her, and she made it work, but it’s hard to think of an artist more precious than Jewel at this point.

But that night, at Lilith Fair, she rocked. She did the “Pieces of You” hits, and they sounded like the “Pieces of You” hits. But she did a lot of songs I didn’t know. And they rocked, awesomely and with a great rocking. At the time, I assumed they were material for her next album, but when Spirit came out, more than a year later, I didn’t recognize any of them. Now, maybe they were on there, and it had been long enough that I didn’t recognize them from the live version I’d heard. Maybe she was doing covers that young, musically immature me didn’t recognize. Maybe they were songs she was working on and decided not to go with. I have no idea. All I know, was for that one night, Jewel put on a show that was great in the ways I’d expected, and great in totally unexpected ways as well.

Now, I’m certainly not going into this upcoming concert with that sort of expectation, but, I will admit, from having seen her before, I am kinda excited about seeing what she’s going to do this time.

Jewel Update

Quick note — A limited number of tickets to the Jewel concert at the Von Braun Center I wrote about yesterday will be available for only $10 each from 10 a.m. today until 10 a.m. Saturday. They’ll be available through Ticketmaster.