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Bruce Robison insists that he was not agitated, bitter or even slightly cross when he wrote "Angry All The Time." Instead, the Texas-based singer/songwriter admits that his mood was more reflective than enraged.
The idea took shape as he thought of his divorced parents.
"Their divorce was maybe the most formative event of my childhood," Bruce explains. "I can remember thinking to myself, 'Why does everyone have to be so angry all the time?' But the song is not about that particular situation. What I always try to do is paint a picture that people will relate to from their own experience."
And the picture developed quickly. "When I sat down to write one day a few years ago, I started with a little melody I had in my mind," he recalls. "The song ended up being about a marriage breakup. It only took me about a half-hour to write it, once I had the framework."
Bruce recorded "Angry All The Time" for his 1996 self-titled debut album, as well as 1998's Wrapped, featuring his wife, Kelly Willis, on backing vocals. It caught on in alt-country circles in Austin, where Bruce has for years been a club fixture.
But when it captured the attention of Faith Hill, the doors to national success flew open.
Faith happened to be watching TV one evening when Bruce and Kelly's "Angry All The Time" video came on. She loved the tune and recommended it to husband Tim McGraw. Bruce, however, had no knowledge of this life-changing chain of events.
"Suddenly, I get a call in the middle of the night saying that Tim had recorded the song," he says, shaking his head in amazement. "I had no idea he was even looking at it. That's very unusual, because normally a song goes through different channels, and you know when an artist wants it months in advance."
Tim added backing vocals by Faith for the single, which climbed into the Top 5. "Her harmony is just heartbreaking," raves Bruce, who has just released his CD Country Sunshine. "I think they both did a wonderful job.
"A sad song like this might be a departure for them," Bruce continues, "but it's certainly not a departure for country music. I'm very gratified about what's happened with this song."
- Bob Paxman
"Angry All The Time"
Written by Bruce Robison
Performed by Tim McGraw
Here we are
What is left of a husband and a wife
With four good kids
Who have a way of gettin' on with their lives
I'm not old, but I'm getting a whole lot older every day
It's too late to keep from goin' crazy
I've got to get away
The reasons that I can't stay
Don't have a thing to do with being in love
And I understand that lovin' a man
Shouldn't have to be this rough
You ain't the only one
Who feels like this world's left you far behind
I don't know why you gotta be angry all the time
Our boys are strong now
The spittin' image of you when you were young
I hope someday they can see past
What you have become
And I remember every time I said I'd never leave
But what I can't live with is memories
Of the way you used to be
Twenty years have came and went
Since I walked out of your door
I never quite made it back to the one I was before
And God it hurts me to think of you
For the light in your eyes was gone
Sometimes I don't know why this old world
Can't leave well enough alone
ANGRY ALL THE TIME
Tiltawhirl Music (BMI)/Bruce Robison Music (BMI)
All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.