Half Of My Mistakes

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I've been wanting to post a few blogs with some songs and lyrics in them, I've already got 2-3 lined up, but tonight I'll start with this one. It's currently one of my favorite songs. It was written by Radney Foster & Bobby Houck. Bobby is a member of the Blue Dogs and I admit to never having heard them. Radney is one of the great indie country artists/writers/producers and even has his own minor label, DualTone. He is a songwriter's songwriter. He's written a few songs that the Dixie Chicks recorded "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)", wrote Sara Evans' latest #1 hit "A Real Fine Place To Start," and I think I'm the only person who liked an album by the Kinleys that he produced (but then, I might be only person who likes the Kinleys). He's also often seen on CMT interviewing artists, usually in his role as host of CMT Crossroads. Radney rules.

A lot of people talk about wishing they could change things in their lives. I recall being asked decades ago, "If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?" My answer was always that my mother would have lived so I could have known her. But as I grew older my perspective changed. I was, for the most part, okay with who I was, and accepted that the sum of our experiences is part of who we are. As my favorite author John Irving wrote in my favorite book:

"It's a no-win argument, that business of what were born with and what our environment does to us. And it's a boring argument, because it simplifies the mysteries that attend to both our birth and our growth." -John Irving, A Prayer For Owen Meany

If my past changed, then I would change. I may never have met my dear friends, etc. I could say the same about my failed marriage. Many people who know me and that situation say my getting married was a mistake. Well, sorta. There's a part of me that wishes that I wouldn't have gotten married, but mainly because I would not have wanted my wife to have gone through that experience and have it affect her so negatively. That saddens me. But that's a whole other blog for some other day.

The point remains: it was an experience and I learned from it and am a better person for having it. So, because I embrace who I am and what God has brought me through, I'm not certain I wholly agree with the philosophy of "I wish it had been different;" but I can certainly relate to it.

And thus, I can relate to and enjoy this song by Radney. Not only for its perspective on how some experiences are 'mistakes' and others are not, but for how some 'mistakes' happen for the same reason that others are avoided, or they happen for the opposite reason that others happen (moving quickly vs. moving slow). And especially for the line "You can lean too hard on regrets, but I don't recommend it."

The version of this song that I like is just Radney and his guitar, very simple and raw, and it's found on his "And Then There's Me: The Back Porch Sessions" album (the whole album is just Radney and his guitar).

Half Of My Mistakes

Half of my mistakes I made stone cold sober

Half of my mistakes I made at closing time

Half the time I never saw it coming 'til it was over

Half of my mistakes I made with love on the line

Half of my mistakes I swear I should have known better

Half of my mistakes were just amongst friends

You get a little distance on it the truth is clearer

Half of my mistakes, I'd probably make 'em again.


So if I had it all to do over

I'm sure I'd win and lose just as much

Spend less time on right and wrong

And a lot more time on love.

Half of my mistakes I made 'cause I was moving too quickly

Half of 'em were made 'cause my heart was moving too slow

Nobody can tell you a damn thing if you ain't listenin'

Half of my mistakes I made 'cause I couldn't let go

(Repeat chorus)

Half of my mistakes I'd give anything to change how it ended

Half of my mistakes, God, I wouldn't change a thing

You can lean too hard on regrets, but I don't recommend it

Because half the good things in life came from half of my mistakes

Yeah, a lot of good things in my life come from half my mistakes.