1. "I've Forgotten How You Feel"(Sonya Isaacs/Keith Sewell)
I wrote this with Keith Sewell. Actually, it's the very first song that I wrote in Nashville. Keith Sewell is the very first guy that I co-wrote with. Keith played with Ricky Skaggs for a while and Marty Stuart. For some reason we just clicked. We both have bluegrass backgrounds and love the Lord. "I've Forgotten How You Feel"was the very first song that we wrote. It's got a double meaning if you think about the title. "I've Forgotten How You Feel," means what you think and if you love me and all that. But "I've Forgotten How You Feel" is also we don't touch anymore. It's both of those things all in one and that's what the song is about. The chorus says "Tell me that your love has stood the test of time and tell me that forever your heart is mine." It's just about reassuring love.
2."That's What Love Demands"(Annie Roboff/Georgia Middleman/Bob DiPiero)
This is a very well-written song. From the first sentence of the first verse, I was hooked. The writers Annie Roboff, Georgia Middleman and Bob DiPiero explain the common fears of falling in love in an uncommon way. The verses are packed with great lyrics, while the chorus is very simple and singy! This track, musically, turned out amazingly tight. I especially love the bridge...the background vocals weave in and out of the lead, and the instruments set up the last chorus quite dramatically. This is definately a fun one to perform live!
3. "Let's Not Lose Each Other Any More"(Vince Gill/Reed Nielsen)
Vince wrote"Let's Not Lose Each Other Anymore." It's the only song on the album that he wrote which is surprising to me because he's such a great writer and he's got so many great songs stashed away that he's never recorded. He wrote this song two years ago and I heard him do it in sound check. When we were finding songs for the album, Vince would just start singing songs during our sound checks. I didn't know if it was one he's recorded or one he has written or is writing. When he sang this one, I just fell in love with it. I just said, "Vince, can I record that song?" He said, "Ah you don't want to record that song." And I said, "Yes I do." It was like pulling teeth because Vince didn't want people to think that a song was on the album because he was producing it. I said, "You're crazy. People are going to hear this song and know why I wanted to record it." Whenever I hear this song it makes me want to take the hand of my husband or my mom or anybody that I've had a problem with.
4."How Can I Forget"(Rachel Proctor/Roy Hurd)
The demo of this song just blew me away on my first listen. I was amazed at the vocal stretch required just to sing the first two verses. Then the chorus reaches for even higher notes. I love it. The song, lyrically, speaks of a love gone wrong for no good reason, and the singer is coping with all the memories that haunt her. It's sort of a haunting melody, and it definitely cuts to the heart of the matter. I especially enjoyed playing mandolin on this one. It's a strong uptempo!
5."Barefoot In The Grass"(Shaye Smith/Ken Harrell)
This song speaks so plainly for itself. Shaye Smith and Ken Harrell penned this one together. They have been friends for years, and one day sat down for a normal writing session. What came out if it was truly not an ordinary song. They told me there were moments just writing it that they had to stop to dry their eyes. The first time I heard this song, I too, cried. It is the kind of song that makes you appreciate life and your loved ones... and that is so important to me. It has been accepted by the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital as a theme song. Having visited there myself, and being a supporter of them, I am deeply honored by that. I receive a tremendous amount of letters and email from people sharing their own"Barefoot"stories. That just blows me away. I think music is an important way to heal... and this song is so peaceful and sweet. It was even supposed to have been recorded for this album...we went back into the studio after having already cut twelve songs.
We were searching for four new uptempos when my manager found this one and we just couldn't pass up the opportunity to cut it. I'm so glad we did. It is one of the most requested songs I perform and will undoubtedly impact many lives.
6."Two Badly Broken Hearts"(Sonya Isaacs/Craig Wiseman)
I wrote this song with Craig Wiseman, one of the best songwriters in town. It was our first attempt at co-writing and it seems we managed to do all right! I actually love this cut. I love the tracks and the mandolin/dobro breaks. It's a twist from what you would think it would say --instead of being a sad break up song, it's the story of a couple who ended up better off because of their heartbreaks! The two badly broken, barely beatin' hearts fit together just perfectly to make them both whole. This one is a blast to sing. It's got a bluesy bend and it's a side of me that doesn't come out on anything else I cut. I'm sure there will be more like it in the future...
7."Just Go"(Sonya Isaacs/Keith Sewell)
This is another song I wrote with Keith Sewell. It's the second song I ever co-wrote in Nashville. "Just Go." We've said it a hundred thousand million times. Keith just got married a year ago and he had to break up with this girl that he had dated for a long time. My husband Tim is also one that dated a girl for a long, long time and he loved her but he wasn't in love with her. And my husband actually thought about the idea of "Just Go." Keith came in to write with me that day and I sat down and I said, "I've got this idea for a song, 'Just Go.' He said, "We've got to write that today. I just broke up with this girl and just didn't want to talk to me. She told me to go, don't try to be my hero, just go!" The first verse says, "There's no need to apologize when you can't find love in another's eyes/ There's no wrong in telling me their truth, loving you too much was my only crime/ You spoke your heart but you've broken mine/ there's only one thing left for you to do, just go. "Then the chorus, "Just go before my teardrops hit the floor, just go, if I can't hold you anymore." The whole song is very strongly worded.
8."Give Me Tonight"(Matraca Berg/Randy Scruggs)
When I first heard this song I like it. Matraca Berg and Randy Scruggs wrote this song --there you go right there. When I heard it I first thought, "I don't know if I can actually sing this kind of song." It's a little different for me and I didn't know if I could pull it off. But it seemed pretty natural when we got to tracking it and it's a really great song. It's also about a married couple that has had a rough day, "...just give me tonight, that's all I need / Give me tonight, make me happy and let's just live for the night." It's really fun.
9."On My Way To You"(Sonya Isaacs/Tim Mensy)
This is a song that I wrote with Tim Mensy. He's a great singer and a great songwriter. He had the title "On My Way To You."I just loved that. I thought, man, that is such a great song and really the whole body of the song is about second chances or third chances or fourth chances at love. Sometimes it takes more than one to get it right and you can't give up-- even you've been through something that doesn't seem fair or you've been broken hearted. If it doesn't kill it, it makes it stronger. In the first verse it says, "I don't regret one single step now that I'm standing here..." That sort of developed the whole rest of the song because it's all about a journey and life is about a journey. It's about where you're going and if one day you end up with the person that you were meant to be with, your soulmate, then that's what it's all about. You're on your way to that person.
10."Who Knew"(Cathy Majeski/Sunny Russ/Stephony Smith)
As the title suggests, this song talks about two friends taking a chance on love. It's funny how sometimes the obvious is hard to see and we search the whole world over just to find what we were looking for right next door. This song is unique because it has a surprise second chorus each time. From the moment the song begins, it builds from verse to chorus to chorus. It's structured in a way that also allows the vocals to build with the music and has a melody that just kind of sucks you in from the first note. It's another different type of song for me, but I really enjoy doing it. It's pleasurable listening!
11."Healing Hands"(Sonya Isaacs/Keith Sewell)
"Healing Hands"is my favorite song on the album. I think it represents everything I would want to write about and sing about. Keith Sewell and I wrote this song also, and in our minds we just thought we could picture this lady coming home from work or a bad day at teaching or something. She spills all her papers out on the floor, her husband comes running in from the den and she's like, "I tried to pull myself together but I couldn't hold it in..." She starts breaking down and, "it's been just one of those days again and I need healing hands to hold me tonight." The neat thing about "Healing Hands" is that it doesn't have to be about a man and a woman. It could be a child that's had a really bad day at school and in my mind I see the video as a child that's maybe been picked on at school or had a bad day.
When I was a little girl, I think I was in the second grade, just learning to read --or the first grade, I don't know-- some of the older kids on the school bus, wanted me to read the back of the seat and that had a really bad word written on it. They talked me into sounding out the word and after I said it, they said you said a cuss word, we're telling, you said a cuss word! I started bawling my eyes out and I ran off the school bus, and into the house crying and my Mom and Dad came running. I said "I said a cuss word, I said a cuss word." They just held me, they held me and that's all it takes sometimes to make it better. Momma's touch or Daddy's touch or Grandma. I think that's why it's my favorite song because if brings back so many memories.
12."The Battlefield"(Arranged by Sonya Isaacs/Vince Gill)
I wanted to record a song that represents by background, my family, The Isaacs, and just how much I love them. I still want to be a part of that. And I love Christ. I love the feeling of singing a Gospel song. There's no other feeling in the world that's better than when you sing a song about God and you believe it. And you feel a connection. You feel like he's listening. When I heard "The Battlefield" I heard a couple of other groups do it over the years and I know it's a public domain song. It's over a hundred years old. We couldn't find out who wrote it or anything so it's author is unknown. But I arranged it and Vince helped me a little bit but when I first heard this song it just took my heart. It just gripped my heart and squeezed it. You might think it's a morbid song because of the chorus is "I'm going to die on the battlefield, I'm going to die in this war, I'm gonna die on the battlefield with glory in my soul." We never dreamed when we recorded it how many things we could relate it to today, there's just so much right now that song says to me. The battlefield isn't only a war zone. The battlefield is our schools. The battlefield is life. It's our relationships and our jobs. There's just a lot of things that "The Battlefield" means to me. Besides this being a really cool song-- we put the Irish sounding feel to it-- so it sounds kind of Civil War like. It was Vince's idea to have the penny whistle and the accordion in it. It's really neat, I think, the production of it is really cool and fun. Vince sang harmony on this also.