STORY BEHIND THE SONG ... "BEAUTIFUL MESS"

Written by Sonny LeMaire, Clay Mills and Shane Minor
Performed by Diamond Rio

Hit songwriters have one pat answer to the question - "where do you get your ideas?" More often than not, observation is the key. And one particular day in Nashville, Sonny LeMaire, Shane Minor and Clay Mills happened to be observing an especially lovely sight.

"We had been writing all morning, and really hadn't come up with anything," begins Clay. "So we went to lunch and as we're driving down the street, this absolutely gorgeous girl goes walking by.

"Shane says, 'Man, she's really beautiful!' and I say something like, 'Yeah, but maybe when you get to know her, she could be a real mess.'

"Sonny kind of pauses for a second and then goes, 'But it would be a beautiful mess.' From there, the light bulbs went off."

The three wolfed down lunch and hurried back to the writing studio. "The idea we worked from was that you can get messed up whenever you're in love with somebody," says Shane. "That's all you think about, and maybe you start daydreaming at work, stuff like that. I know it's happened to me a few times."

Clay remembers starting with a guitar groove, which progressed to a group free-for-all. "We were throwing out lyrics, one after another," he says. "It all came together pretty easily."

Clay also recalls using his own powers of observation for one of the song's key lines. "The one that goes, Behind my coffee cup, I just smile, actually came from watching Shane," Clay laughs.

"That something that he does - he drinks his coffee in the morning and hides behind his cup and sort of chuckles to himself," Clay adds. "I thought it would paint a nice picture."

Faith Hill came into the picture shortly after they finished the song. "She liked it," says Shane, "and we really thought she was going to do it. But she ended up passing on it. Fortunately for us, Diamond Rio also wanted the song."

And the six-man band took "Beautiful Mess" all the way to the top. "I think the contrast of the title drew people in, you know? Like, 'What's a beautiful mess?' It made them listen one more time," says Clay.

"The idea was so relatable," adds Shane, smiling. "Love is a beautiful thing - but it can be a big mess, too."

-- Bob Paxman

"Beautiful Mess"
Written by Sonny LeMaire, Clay Mills and Shane Minor
Performed by Diamond Rio

Going out of my mind these days
Like I'm walking around in a haze
I can't think straight, I can't concentrate
And I need a shave

I go to work and I look tired
The boss man says, son, you're gonna get fired
This ain't your style
And behind my coffee cup, I just smile

CHORUS
What a beautiful mess
What a beautiful mess I'm in
Spending all my time with you
There's nothing else I'd rather do
What a sweet addiction that I'm caught up in
'Cause I can't get enough
Can't stop the hunger for your love
What a beautiful
What a beautiful mess I'm in

This morning, put salt in my coffee
I put my shoes on the wrong feet
I'm losing my mind I swear
It might be the death of me, but I don't care

REPEAT CHORUS

Is it your eyes? Is it your smile?
All I know is that you're driving me wild

What a beautiful mess
What a beautiful mess I'm in
Spending all my time with you
There's nothing else I'd rather do
What a sweet addiction that I'm caught up in
'Cause I can't get enough
Can't stop the hunger for your love
What a beautiful
What a beautiful

REPEAT CHORUS

BEAUTIFUL MESS (c)2002 Songs of API, Songs of Nashville DreamWorks, Monkey C Music (BMI); Chrysalis Music, Creative Artists Agency (ASCAP); EMI Blackwood Music Inc., Shane Minor Music (BMI). All rights for Songs of API, Songs of Nashville DreamWorks and Monkey C Music Controlled and Administered by Affiliated Publishers, Inc. All rights for Shane Minor Music Controlled and Administered by EMI Blackwood Music Inc. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.

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