Cary Pierce Song Meanings & Explanations
ABSENCE OF LOVE
"You can let the bad days wash down the drain . . . I won't stand in your way."
- Cary Pierce "Won't Stand in your Way"
"You know how they say in science class that there is no such thing as cold it's really just the absence of heat. I really do believe that. Call me crazy but I feel the same way about love. That's really all there is, there might be some of it in some places. Even in super freezing cold artic ice burgs are super below zero places there's heat there it's just not mucho heat." (10/30/2001).
A - "This is a love song. It's called Advent, which means 'beginning' or 'starting'." (9/3/1996).
B - "This is true story. The house where this song was born is no longer . . . it just rained, and I went out and she was sleeping in my bed and I picked a couple of sunflowers and I left the blue candle burning by the bed." (4/10/2003).
ALL AROUND ME
"This is a new song. I wrote it after I read All Quiet On The Western Front, one of those books that I was supposed to read in high school but blew off and asked a cute girl next to me what was going on when I had tests. Finally read it about a year ago and it really had profound effect on me. The idea of them going back as 17-18 year old boys, back to their hometowns, and seeing this stuff of boys---their pennants on their walls, trophies and other fun stuff---and realizing that they weren't attached to it anymore because they were no longer boys. And I wrote this song called 'All Quiet' because it was all quiet but it wasn't quiet inside anymore." (In-Studio Acoustic Compilation; 1999).
ALONG FOR THE RIDE
"Has anybody over here dated someone significantly older than themselves? A good buddy of mine called me. He was going to Georgetown University and he meet some high-powered attorney representing some high-powered artists, show or something. Very highbrow.
He was all excited this older woman taking him out and spending all kinds of money on him and stuff. I had been playing these chords over and over again and I remember I was sitting in St. Louis at a friend of mine's house. My buddy called me up and told me this story and I immediately put the two together and that he was just along for the ride." (8/20/1997).
BACK NEXT YEAR
"This song is about the little walkways on top of houses and I asked my dad what's all this about and he said back in the old wailing days men would go off to see for months, sometimes even a year at a time and women would literally wear grooves in the floorboards of these decks they called 'widows walks' because they'd hope their husband would come back. This song is just kind of about my imagination thinking about a young man kissing his wife goodbye and saying 'I'll be back next year' ". (2/8/2002).
BEST THING IN MY LIFE
"Well, I found out later that Creede [Williams] didn't just like ... you know when you rip something off it 'oh yeah that sounds kind of like that'. Creede flat out plagiarized this song. I had no idea that it was an old esoteric 'Old97' song. He was like 'yeah it's kind of like that but no big deal' so we kind of like glazed it over like 'no it's fine it's kind of similar'. Then I heard the song and I was like 'dude that's the exact same lyrics.' " (2/25/2006).
GET TO KNOW ME BETTER
"This song I actually wrote while we were in Los Angeles back in 93 recording "Bringing on the Weather". I had the idea for it and I kind of finished it around the pool at the Oakwood Apartments which are now rubble due to the 93 Earthquake. But I wrote this because I was kind of dating this girl and she was wanting to take it slow and take it easy and I was like 'man I'm on the road 200 days a year we need to get this going'. You know what I'm saying. We need to get this going on while I'm in town. 'Cause she was like 'I want to know you and trust you' and blah blah blah. I was like Get to know me better, quicker." (In-Studio Acoustic Compilation; 1999).
GIVEN THE TIME
"This song is one of my favorite to play 'cause this is back in the time when I was in Los Angeles I've been there alot. I was in the middle of a scene that I just didn't belong there, it was like call girls, and cocaine, and Hollywood boulevard ... but anyway it was just one of those nights that I just wanted to be back home in Dallas, TX with my dogs and my girl. This is called 'Given The Time.' " (02/12/2000).
GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD
"This is a tune about twisting things around when something could look like a tragedy, but you can find goodness in it somewhere and it turned out the this breakup was the greatest thing that ever happened to me." (In-Studio Acoustic Compilation; 1999).
"When I write slow songs I'm always trying try to re-write a good James Taylor song . . . when I was 15 years old I planned this bike trip with one of my best friends. We were going to go to The Cape, go to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard do these things. I was 15 and my friend was 16 and were going . . . and literally, the week of departure time my friend backed out on me and told me, said 'I'm not going'. I was so bummed out; I had all the reservations made, doing my thing. I told my parents and they were like 'what are you going to do' and I go 'I'm going to go by myself' . . . so I went and I'll never forget calling my mom calling from a pay phone as I landed in Oak Bluffs on the Island Queen Ferry. Called my mom and I never felt, even to this day, it gives me chills, the freedom I felt right then and there was just amazing. I feel very grateful for the opportunity. I remember driving through the bike paths that they have all through Martha's Vineyard, driving through the piney woods of the vineyard and had my hands off the handlebars, shirt off in the sun and singing James Taylor songs to myself and just feeling so free and alive. I remember singing this one also, and when I wrote this song I was trying to rewrite this song [Sweet Baby James] in some way." (3/28/2002).
I BELIEVE IN AMERICA
"A friend of mine and I wrote this song and we laid it down a couple of days later and then we were able to somehow get everybody in the studio and record this thing and pulled alot of the north Texas music scene together to pull this song together. After what happened I just kept thinking 'I believe in America I believe we can get through this.' This is I Believe in America." (10/30/2001).
I BELIEVE IN YOU
I'M NOT READY
"This is a song about that special time . . . when someone says 'goodbye' and you're not ready yet." (2/24/2006).
"I'm not exactly sure where this song came from . . . I guess it's a combination of growing up. This song is about staying together." (8/20/1997).
KING OF THE WORLD
LAY MY WORRIES DOWN
LET IT GO
MAY THE ROAD RISE TO MEET YOU
A - "When I was in high school I sang in this choir and every night we'd close with this song. And singing something I miss very much; 4-part harmony with 35 great singers . . . it's an old Irish prayer from the 1400s." (8/20/1997).
B - "Back in high school we used to sing in this beautiful choir called the Orphanians. We used to sing in old folks homes and sing . . . in monasteries and we used to always end with this song and I've been singing it ever since." (10/30/2001).
MORE THAN HE COULD GIVE
"There's just a few people in my high school, my friends that I was friends with that I really feel that they were taken away before their time. And this is in a way a vignette of people that I've lost I think before their time. It's called More Than He Could Give." (9/3/1996).
MORE THAN THIS
"This song I remember I was not feeling good as I do right this second and feeling sorry for myself and thinking that things should have been alot more than they were at that particular time. Singing these words over and over again made me feel better." (8/20/1997).
NO PROBLEM AT ALL
"Fun song. I wrote it with a buddy of mine. This song loosely based on that scene in Jerry McGuire, he's getting mad at Renee Zellwigger and he's like 'dude, what do you want my soul or something'? And she says "yeah, I think I deserve that.' This song is about that, it's saying 'yeah she wants it all, that's no problem at all.' " (3/28/2002).
ONE MORE DAY
"This song is about all that stuff that we accumulate through the years. All the things you'd happily give back if you could just grab a few moments back that you'd really wish you'd made a different decision. This is a fun song, it's called One More Day." (4/17/1999).
OTHER THINGS IN LIFE
"Well this is a song for the whole family. This is about a woman who dances in a topless bar but then also moonlights as a hooker. She gets fed up with this lifestyle and being mistreated by men so she decides to kill a guy one night. It's really fun for the whole family so sing along . . . It's called September." (10/30/2001).
SHE'S FOR FREE
"They say the best things in life are free. But as you well know they take a little bit of maintenance." (10/30/2001).
SHE'S GONE, MOVE ON
A - "Breakups are delicious in a sense that they are such great foundations for growth . . . some of my favorite memories are getting through thinking, "God there is no end to this. Will I ever get through this?" and then finally getting through something. I guess its just part of life. This song is kind of inspired by another similar kind-of menagerie. You know the movie Swingers? . . . it's so pathetic the opening scene he's just so bummed out and you're like 'my god this guy I mean what's up get over this girl' and he's just so bummed out and their sitting at that restaurant . . . he's just so sad. And I've been there before and I'm watching this guy on the screen but I've been THAT guy in a booth at a restaurant just talking to a friend that's just listening to the same story so many times . . . Poi Dog Pondering used to be from Austin, Texas. They had this song that was just tremendous, had a tremendous influence on me called Thanksgiving which is just all about thanksgiving for every wrong move, thanksgiving for every mistake you made because that you made it and you put your chin out there to get knocked." (10/30/2001).
B - This next song was really inspired by John Gorka's song, he has a tune called "I Saw a Stranger With Your Hair". He's an amazing songwriter. He talks about how I saw a stranger with your hair . . . he just talks about how your never hard to find in a crowd because he sees different parts of her in different people. We see a million times in movies when someone comes up to somebody and they think it's somebody and it looks like that person from behind and they turn around and it's not. What a jarring thing that is. You just get taken aback . . . You can only do what you can do. And if you're able, perhaps you need to move on." (2/25/2006).
(SHE'S) OVER ME
"This is about a girl from Austin, TX. I thought 'yeah well get back together, it's cool, well get back together one day.' And then she's sharing an apartment with some fella. Sharing bills, common law they call it here in Texas. Next thing you know she's got a couple babies and I think well 'Maybe she's gotten over me'." (10/4/2002).
SIX PAGE LETTER
A - "This song started out about a scenario of pitying the rich . . . the rich girl, dad sends her off to a boarding school at an early age. She does everything bad in prep school and leads to her getting really drunk and going up to the top one of the main school buildings and lighting all of her classmates' final papers on fire while she sits there laughs and watches them burn. That's how the song started off and then it got really twisted and wacko but I guess overall its kind of pity the rich story. It's called Six Page Letter . . . it used to kind of mean something but it means many different things now. Just to give you an idea where it came from it just really started off about a little girl getting into lots of trouble and all she really wanted was attention but instead of attention she just kept throwing fits." (8/20/1997).
B - "I wrote this song when we were recording with T-Bone Burnett out in Los Angeles. His daughter would come hang out with us, she was just a high schooler then. I remember she would just complaining about her life and I was like 'Man what could be wrong with your life? You're the daughter of T-Bone Burnett. You get to hang out with like Bono, he comes over and hangs out and has coffee. What's wrong with your life?' I had this whole image of her in private school she'd come over in her little outfit and I saw her just like going up to the top of some roof of some building on our campus and burning papers and just going bananas. Really rebelling and going crazy anyway this song is for her . . . I have no idea what this song is about." (2/25/2006).
A - "This song is one of my favorites that I've written in a while . . . I have no idea what I wrote about. I guess alot of times when I write songs people ask what was that about? Alot of times really its just kind-of an amalgamation, an accumulation of menagerie---if you will---of different scenes that run through my mind on a second to second basis. This song is just about that certain time in a relationship when you need to get up and go but sometimes you just can't get out of that easy chair and can't get out of that quick sand, it's just too comfortable. Her sister's wedding is next week and you can't break up with her this week . . . there's graduation and her parents. Let's stretch it out for another six months and waste our lives." (10/30/2001).
B - "This is called Speed. This song is about when you finally do get ready to get up and go sometimes it's hard. You get caught up in the memories and 'Wow am I going to hurt this person?' Whatever it may be sometimes, but you got to move on sometimes. It may not be a person maybe the way you're living, the way you're leading . . . Sometimes you can't walk away, you got to run, you've got to sprint from it." (2/25/2006).
"This song was inspired by Aqua Man." (8/31/2002).
TAKE IT AWAY
THE WAY WE WERE
THREE OF US IN A BOAT
A - "The first song that Jack and I wrote together, ever. Nine years ago. At first look it's pretty simple and corny. I was pretty proud of the lyrics actually because I made my first literary allusion to a book that I didn't even finish. It's a book called The Boat Who Wouldn't Float by a guy named Farley Mowat. He's an Alaskan comedic author. The book wasn't all that good but I really enjoyed the title. So I ripped it off and threw it in this song. So, most of you had no idea who Farley Moat was. This is a song called Three of us in a Boat." (8/20/1997).
B - "So I'll tell you the real story. You see I grew up in Connecticut but got to Texas as quick as I could . . . I was about 17 or 18 years old in high school in Connecticut and I met this girl. She's so beautiful and I totally fell in love with her . . . I was diggin' her vibe and she'd be diggin' my vibe. And I went off to college right? I went to SMU. I met this girl, like I said, and when I went off I thought 'okay I'll never see her again no big deal.' Of all the schools in the United States to pick and we come from the tiny state of Connecticut, where does she wind up? That's right Southern Methodist University. I see her freshman year at orientation and 'like oh my god, it's meant to be' and totally fell in love with her on the spot. We started dating and doing our thing and it turns out that she has a boyfriend in St. Louis named Blain. To tell you the honest truth when I wrote this song the original lyrics where so pathetic, because her name was Ray, so it used to be 'I miss my Ray of sunshine' but I changed it because that was pathetic." (10/30/2001).
C - "I wrote this, I think I was 19 years old. The truth of the matter was that I was dating this girl at Southern Methodist University; she was a Kappa Kappa Gamma of which I was a "House Boy" for 2 years. Smartest move I ever made---3 free meals a day, I got invited to every formal under the sun, I was the default date for everything. It was a bunch of theatre majors working there in the kitchen. So I fell in love with this girl but the only problem was that she had a boyfriend as you probably well know and he was a fraternity brother of mine--actually a pledge brother--which really wasn't cool of me because I really didn't know the details. It was kind of a very hazey, fuzzy time. Anyway, so I wrote this song about her." (2/24/2006).
TIME TO TIME
"This is a song in a kind-of 'your so vain' vibe. You know I really don't think of you except from time to time I do." (2/8/2002).
"This song I wrote when I was in my band Jackopierce. We're at the height of our career. We're in New York City doing the Rosie O'Donnel show and having limousines take us around, record label dinners. At the very height of my career I was the most lonely, unhappy and unhealthy I had ever been in my whole life and I couldn't figure out why. And I needed to do some inventory and check some things and figure out what was going on. I started writing this song. It took me two years to complete and I'm definitely still a work in progress. This song is called Tower. It's very close to me." (8/31/2002)
A - "You remember the band Better Than Ezra? They used to be a drummer in the band; the guy's name is Cary just like me. C-A-R-Y. He's a buddy of mine. He was on tour and they were big rock star, big huge multi-platinum record out there touring and he fell in love with this girl in Germany, she was like 17 or something. He fell totally in love with her, head over heals, phone calls, making trips over there to try to keep it together . . . and totally broke his heart and at the time I was reading this book called The Bird Artists . . . it was about a bird artist in New Foundedland who literally sketches birds. This is all going to tie together I promise; hang in there with me. He sketches birds for a living. Well it's a fishing town and his dad goes off on a big fishing trip. While his dad was gone, his mom is getting it on with the lighthouse keeper. So, he comes back into town and word is on the street that his old lady is getting down with the lighthouse keeper . . . he gets mad at the son, not at the wife, he doesn't disown the wife he disowns the son for letting it all go down. So, the way this ties together. I had this vision because what they used to do was they used to go to the lighthouse and they would listen to old phonograph records get their groove on and do their thing. I thought it was so funny that maybe they'd turn off the light off at the lighthouse while they were getting their thing going and my buddy while who was trying to get across the Atlantic on his little boat to get to see his girl in Germany but the guy's getting it on with the light off . . . so he's just going around in circles. So I wrote this song called Transatlantic." (10/30/2001).
B - "This is a fun song. It's about a good buddy of mine who fell in love with this beautiful girl in Germany. Had to come back to Dallas, he didn't have enough money to call her, he didn't have enough money to go back there and try to salvage the relationship.
He fantasized; he had dreams of taking a boat over there and trying to win her heart back. This is called Transatlantic." (4/17/1999).
"I wrote this song about pretty southern woman and how they say the word 'baby' ". (8/31/2002).
"This song . . . was inspired by a book I read called Dreaming in Cuban by Christina Garcia. It was a really confusing book to me. You know how certain things you really don't understand but really catch a vibe from it . . . 'okay I didn't really understand what was going on but I kind-of enjoyed reading it nonetheless'. This inspired this song about this woman I call Rosa and she's crazy. She lives on the streets. She's homeless. Everybody kind-of knows that she's crazy but in her mind she's totally lucid and thinks that lives in Valencia, Spain. But in fact she lives on the streets in DC. and to us her life isn't great but in her mind her life is beautiful and so since she thinks its beautiful I guess it must be beautiful. This is called Valencia." (8/20/1997).
"When I was 15 years old I planned a bicycle trip to the Cape, to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard. I had all the hostel plans, and I had all the travel reservations, I bought my bike, I got my LL Bean, . . . I had everything all together everything planned out. And my friend Jim, who was the older guy, he was like 16; he just decides he says 'Man, I can't go, I can't go with you' and I was like man that stinks. I told my parents and they were, 'what are you going to do?' and I said 'I'm going to go by myself' and they go 'OK'. I was 15 years old . . . they let me go by myself for 2 weeks I took a bike trip. It was the most unbelievable passage to manhood for me . . . People ask 'what's your connection to New England, and the Vineyard, Nantucket, you always right so much about that area?'. My maternal Grandmother she died at 99 1/2 and she lived in Falmouth, MA which is on The Cape. My Dad grew up in Marrian, Mass which is on The Cape. Literally across the water. I've always been nostalgic about that area, there's been so many great memories when I finally got off the ISLAND QUEEN FERRY from Falmouth when my grandmother dropped me off went over there and got there, I called my mom on the pay phone and was like 'I'm here'. So excited, I turned back and looked at the land behind me. Went to the grocery store for the first time all by myself, packed up my stuff, went to the youth hostel all by myself. But, I spent all that time just with my hands off the bars just riding my bicycle and singing James Taylor songs the entire 2 weeks. I literally started picking up the guitar about that time just so I could learn some James Taylor. So many good songs would come out of that, that were started on that trip, probably born on that trip." (2/25/2006).
WILL NOT BRING US TOGETHER AGAIN
"This is a kind of preposterous song I wrote in my late teens about a young woman who bought me a bunch of shit." (06/03/1997)
WITHOUT THE PROBLEMS
"People that would like to be with you, and be in love with you, and be around you except that you've got things about yourself---perhaps drugs or alcohol---that are keeping you from being yourself. Alot of times people don't want to be around you because you're not yourself . . . this is a song called Without the Problems." (9/3/1996).
WON'T STAND IN YOUR WAY
"This is one of my favorite things that I've recorded in a long time. It's pretty much about the choices we get to make in life, we pretty much always have a choice, as tough as it may seem sometimes we can always choose what we decide to think about." (3/28/2002).
YOU CAN CHANGE
YOU'RE MINE TONIGHT
"This is a song that kind-of loosely chronicles my wild 3-and-a-half stint as a single guy out on the road. It's called You're Mine Tonight." (In-Studio Acoustic Compilation; 1999).
YOU'VE GOT A LOVER
"There's a man called Shake Russel who's from around these parts . . . I remember the first time I saw Shake, I stumbled into Anderson Fair . . . I saw another song writer there called John Gorka and he's got amazing songs. John Gorka's amazing. He has a song called Legends and the line is 'when they left the music stayed and that's how legends are made' and that's how I felt about seeing that Shake Russel/Dana Cooper show when I saw them play together, I thought the music stayed after they left. And that's the makings of a great songwriter. These are one of my favorite songs period." (8/20/1997).
If you have any more quotes for the songs listed here, please email me!