June 10.201 – Story Behind “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” by Gary Allan


Hear the story here!

This song says that eventually we’ll all have problems in life, but through these tough times we realize that we’re getting stronger and must remember that “Life ain’t always beautiful – But it’s a beautiful ride.” I hope you enjoy the song and find a some inspiration from it, as much as I do. And as always, feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.~Robynn

Gary Allan’s “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful”. This song appeared on Gary’s “Tough All Over” cd, which is the first release after his wife committed suicide.

Like a lot of his songs on this album, this shows a change in Allan’s music style since his wife committed suicide. Most of the album has a melancholy mood to it as a result of how much he misses her, like his earlier single, “Best I Ever Had.”

This was written by the Nashville songwriter Tommy Lee James, who considers it one of his favorites. He wrote it with a Dr. Seuss twist, explaining that “it’s kind of a self-help song. It’s one of those songs that’s kind of about life, and a pick-me-up song. And it has a little bit of that Dr. Seuss simplicity.

There aren’t that many song ideas, really,” says James. “So when you’re a professional songwriter you tend to write the same ideas over and over and over. And especially if you’re in that commercial vein, there just aren’t that many ways to go. But I wrote this song with an artist, Cyndi Thomson, who’s a Country artist (“What I Really Meant To Say”)

And for some reason it was one of those things we wrote in an hour and a half, just kind of came out and just felt real to me. We kind of got on a roll with that. It’s funny, one door opens and you just follow that path, and it works. And you don’t have to fight it too much. I love songs like that, that just come out easily and feel natural, and feel somewhat inspired emotionally.”

The open ending of this lyric is also something James loves about it; it could be about someone dying, or a relationship ending, or whatever the listener chooses. But one thing that really stays with him is Gary Allan’s version. “To me the perfect artist that could have sung it, sung it. Gary Allan did this really aching vocal that really gave me chills. And you know, the song is only as good as the singer sometimes – as the delivery, and he sang it like he meant it.”

The song reached a peak of number 4 on the chart dated August 19, 2006.
Sources: Song Facts and Wikipedia

LYRICS: Written by Tommy Lee James and Cyndi Thomson
Life ain’t always beautiful
Sometimes it’s just plain hard
Life can knock you down, it can break your heart

Life ain’t always beautiful
You think you’re on your way
And it’s just a dead end road at the end of the day

But the struggles makes you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has its own way of takin’ it sweet time

No,life aint always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it’s a beautiful ride

Life aint always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin’ all these lonely miles

And I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream, but life don’t work that way

But the struggles makes me stronger
And the changes make me wise
And happiness has its own way of takin’ its sweet time

No, life ain’t always beautiful
But I know I’ll be fine
Hey, life ain’t always beautiful
But its a beautiful ride
What a beautiful ride

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

3 thoughts on “June 10.201 – Story Behind “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” by Gary Allan

  1. Dennis Hudson

    I heard your story about Tommy Lee James and “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” Friday. That was a great tribute to a wonderful song and a great songwriter. I worked for Tommy’s father Al James, owner of Timber Truss Housing Systems in Salem. Al was a wonderful and great, yet very humble man. Tommy was here with his father for several weeks recently. Al James passed away about two weeks ago. My wife and I were with Tommy and family and Tommy’s brother Terry, who lives here in Roanoke. You may know all of this, but I wanted to thank you for your wonderful “story” and all the great things you do.
    Dennis Hudson

  2. Anonymous

    Great song came the same year my daughter was killed when our vehicle was hit by a semi very tough year had to bury her while my wife was still in a coma. Listening reminded me hey some times life sucks but God always give a chance to smile about things

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