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"There Must Be More To Life.
(The story behind the song.)" 

People have told me that this is their favorite
of the songs I've written. 

In the 1970's,
when we released it on a major label,
I called DJ's to see how it was going.
All the responses were positive except one.
Naturally that's the one I remember.
The program director of a big Atlanta station
said that the song depressed him. 

We had a pretty good relationship,
so I explained it to him like this:
Some of our greatest songs are sad,
for instance Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry",
and every blues lyric ever written.
They let people know they aren't alone in their troubles. 

It works the other way too.
If we're doing okay now,
we can appreciate what we have
by looking back at the hard times. 

This song is about a couple
who expected more from the future than they are getting.
They are in a deep rut
and don't know how to get out of it.
It's nobody's fault. 

This is a common life situation.
I see it in faces every day.
I know the look,
because I've worn it. 

This song says:
"Don't let this happen to you!"
and, "Break out before it's too late,
because there IS more to life!" 

This was the scene I remembered as I wrote it:
The seedy outskirts of a cold industrial city.
The part of town with drive-in theaters closed for the winter,
junk yards, chain link fences, brown slush,
and factory soot that gets in your eyes and skin. 

The romance that once brought this couple together
has been scarred and eroded
by bad times, drudgery, worry, boredom,
and mostly disappointment.
It's a different kind of blues. 

The guy with the wet boots is a younger me.
The woman in the story is not Misty,
but just my idea of how a woman would feel
under these circumstances. 

I wrote a second song about this same couple
where they finally make the break.
It's called: "Second Tuesday in December",
and is the only time I ever wrote a sequel to a song.
It will be released later. 

But, for now... 

Sky full of factory smokestacks
Hot cinders paint the snow black
Turn up my collar to the cold
My old boots are wet and dirty
Missed my bus, it's seven thirty
Ah, there must be more to life than growing old

Each day seems like the last one
Each year, just like the past one
As if they stamped them from a mold
Somehow it seems to be
The only change is you and me
There must be more to life than growing old

There must be more to life than growing old
What happened to the dreams we used to hold?
We never asked for cities paved with gold
There must be more to life than growing old
We never asked for cities paved with gold
There must be more to life than growing old
There must be more to life than growing old 

© 2003 Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.
Song "There Must Be More To Life (Than Growing Old") Copyright ©Jack Blanchard 
Songs (BMI). Words and music by Jack Blanchard. 
All rights reserved. Lyrics reprinted by kind permission of the author.

 

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