Today we continue with our popular “Your Voice, Your Choice” feature on Belles and Gals, the 46th edition of the feature! We introduce one of our favourite songs from a country artist and then the artist tells us in turn about a song that has inspired them and has a special place in their heart. Today we feature the wonderful Gretchen Peters!
Since relocating to Nashville from Boulder, Colorado in the late ’80’s Gretchen has become one of music city’s most respected songwriters, inducted into the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014 . As well as having many cuts by other artists ( including of course the CMA winning/Grammy nominated “Independence Day “ which Martina McBride most famously recorded ) she has released several studio albums in her own right. Her latest “ Dancing With the Beast” is due out on 18th May but available to pre-order now, with a UK tour starting the following day (further info on both can be found at gretchenpeters.com)
The song of hers I have chosen for this feature is always an audience favourite at her shows , “Five Minutes” which is taken from her 2012 album “ Hello Cruel World”. As with all of Gretchen’s compositions, the lyrics are so beautiful and thought provoking, and I particularly love reminiscing in this beautiful song and the pictures it paints throughout. Singing to the father of her seventeen year old daughter Jessie, who she used to run off to meet when she was a teenager herself, she tells how she could never be with anyone else because she couldn’t bear to “ make love to him and only see your face”. It now “ seems like history repeats itself “ as Jessie is off meeting boys herself, “ just like I used to run to you”. The “ five minutes” in the title begins as being the time she has to smoke a cigarette in her work break, but cleverly changes later in the song to be the amount of time it can take for “ your whole world to change”
This live acoustic version shows the emotion that Gretchen always puts into her performance.
And in turn, here is Gretchen’s choice for us to enjoy……..
‘Unquestionably a song that will always be in my personal pantheon of great songs, “Joan of Arc” never fails to move me.
For starters, it contains one of the most exquisitely beautiful and revealing verses in song:
She said I’m tired of the war
I want the kind of work I had before
A wedding dress or something white
To wear upon my swollen appetite
“Joan of Arc” has everything: a compelling story, a sense of beautiful doom, a brave hero(ine), and a deep mystery, both musically and lyrically. I love it for all of those things; I aspire to write so beautifully about the inner struggles of people. This version with Jennifer Warnes singing, and Leonard Cohen singing the part of Fire, is the definitive version‘.
Article written by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)