A Song A Day: The Story

The Story by Brandi Carlile
The Story by Brandi Carlile

Song #3: Brandi Carlile’s The Story

Why I Picked It: Today I bought Brandi Carlile’s new album Give Up The Ghost, but I was reminded by how much I love her song The Story (from the album The Story).  And since the last two songs have been a bit forlorn in the love songs department, I thought this would be a nice pick me up as well.

Why I Like It:  As a writer, I feel like everything is a story.  As a person who has studied both literature and technology, I am also often asked how the two make sense together and I’m of the belief that both literature and technology are logical components – one is best seen moving forward (technology, e.g. algorithms) and the other best seen in hindsight (stories need to make sense looking back from where they moved forward).

Brandi Carlile’s The Story encompasses the idea of a person’s life as story: “All of these lines across my face/Tell you the story of who I am/So many stories of where I’ve been/And how I got to where I am”.

And then brings it up a notch, bringing the person’s story with someone else’s: “I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules/But baby I broke them all for you/Because even when I was flat broke/You made me feel like a million bucks”.

This person is someone that knows the singer/subject’s secrets, the procession of her life.  The Story represents that one person’s story is inherently interwined with someone else’s story: “And they don’t know what/I’ve been through like you do/And I was made for you…”

There’s a part of this song where Carlile’s voice cracks a bit, where she’s repeating “All of these lines that cross my face…” at the end.  I read on Wikipedia that she stated it was technically wrong, but emotionally correct.  And that aspect of the song resonates so much of the song – the story is almost logically as well – what I know, what others know, what you know – perspectives.  But that moment her voice breaks from emotion, brings in that extra element.

My favorite part is the idea that from this story, the subject is musing about all the things in her life, but ultimately surmises that their meaning is within the story of someone else: “And I was made for you”.


-cct