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Song Dissection with Artist: Shelby Earl & Song “Beloved”.

October 19, 2011

The new feature you are about to read is a simple question, in which we ask the artist, “Whats this song about? Where did you write it?. A “bio” if you will. Shelby Earl is the first official contributor, and we are so happy she is involved. Please make sure to check her out while she plays the City Arts Festival  with The Felice Brothers at The Crocodile on October 20th. Here is the bio of her song “Beloved”:  A couple of years ago I started looking around at relationships in my life; at my friends’, my family’s, my acquaintances’, and I noticed a trend. I noticed that in many cases the dude seemed to be working overtime to please his lady, but rarely succeeding or getting the credit deserved for the effort. It wasn’t necessarily that the men in these relationships were doing everything perfectly and the women were just being difficult and saying “not good enough.” It was more that the men were fumbling through their attempts to meet the extremely high, high expectations their ladies had and continually falling short. It made me sad. It made me think … maybe that silly book “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” had some credibility. And maybe it does? I don’t know. But I do know that it made me consider what relationships between men and women could look like if a woman regularly looked her man in the eye and said “Thank you for everything you do. You are wonderful.” I considered how much a man’s pride comes into play with these things. Women have pride too, but not the same kind. That is where the “You’ve been fighting so hard. For your name, your coat of arms” comes into play. It’s about a man protecting his good name, his honor, his masculinity. If someone continually tells you, you aren’t doing things right or doing things well … you will ultimately abdicate and say “forget it then, you do it.” So what happens then? Women end up feeling like they’ve been abandoned or un-supported and the whole thing becomes an ugly cycle.

Obviously all relationships are difficult and this song is not about blaming women for men’s downfalls (I’m a lady myself for god’s sake!). And ultimately it isn’t even about just male/female relationships. It’s about any two people who are partnered and struggling to make it work and who desperately need to tell each other how loved and appreciated they are. It’s also an apology of sorts. It’s a way of someone saying to their person “I see you working hard to make me happy and I’m sorry I don’t acknowledge it often enough.”

Most times when I play this song live I tell the audience what it’s about and the whole room will fall quiet. It’s a very emotional experience and the weight in the room is often palpable. I know there are couples standing there together, dealing with this very issue, who are in need of healing. I usually preface it in a light-hearted manner by saying “I know men are out here working hard for their ladies and not necessarily getting the credit they deserve,” and more times than not, the men in the audience will cheer. Obviously I can’t be inside people’s relationships, or pretend to know what works for everyone, but its clear that this is a shared experience among
men.

Ultimately, I wrote this song because I want women, myself included, to remember to say “You are good. You are loved. You are enough.” to their dudes – often. Imagine how different things could be for couples if they remembered to do just that. *Listen to the track below*.

Shelby EarlBeloved

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