Monday, July 21, 2008

Strawberry Wine: a summer song



Michelle Branch & Jessica Harp, The Wreckers, sing Strawberry Wine ~ Live


I hope you'll indulge me one more post concerning an age-specific themed song. This one is about the year that follows sweet sixteen. I'm not aware of any other songs that mention being age seventeen. It wouldn't matter if there are more, because Strawberry Wine would remain my favorite song pertaining to any teen year.

I remember seeing the 1997 CMA awards show when the song-writing duo mentioned below collected their trophies for Strawberry Wine. I don't listen to country music and I'd not heard of the song. A sample of Strawberry Wine was played as the composers hurried on stage and again as Deana Carter ran on stage (barefoot) to pick up her award for Single of the Year. It's just one of those pieces of trivia I remember because the little bit I heard of the record brought tears to my eyes and I later bought the CD for that song alone. Thus, it became one of those heart songs I described in my post about 4 + 20.

From Wikipedia:
"Strawberry Wine" is a song written by Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison, first recorded by Deana Carter on the album Did I Shave My Legs for This? (1995). The song went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, was a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Country Song nominee, a 1997 Academy of Country Music Awards Best Country Song nominee, a 1997 Country Music Radio Awards nominee for Song of The Year, and the winner of Song of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards in 1997. It was also voted Song of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International and the Nashville Music Awards that year.
The song, a ballad, tells the story of co-writer Berg's own coming of age as a teenager outside of Luck, Wisconsin, she recalled: "We used to go to my grandparents' dairy farm in the summer. My aunt, who's six months younger than me, and I would try to score some wine. And I met this boy..." Berg shopped the song to record labels around Nashville, but they passed, considering it overly long and controversial, and not memorable enough. Deana Carter heard Berg perform the song at a showcase and then recorded it for her debut album, Did I Shave My Legs for This?.

I so admire the original version by Deana Carter but elected to not post her music video, good as it is, deciding instead to honor Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp, The Wreckers, for their variation of Strawberry Wine. They have inspired a whole host of other young singers to post their own interpretations of the song on You Tube, a validation of my sense that young love and summer songs go together like warm skin and starry nights, like déjà vu and memory.



Strawberry Wine - lyrics


He was working through college on my grandpa’s farm
I was thirsting for knowledge and he had a car
I was caught somewhere between a woman and a child
When one restless summer we found love growing wild
On the banks of the river on a well beaten path
Funny how those memories they last

Like strawberry wine and seventeen
The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love oh bittersweet
Green on the vine
Like strawberry wine

I still remember when thirty was old
My biggest fear was September when he had to go
A few cards and letters and one long distance call
We drifted away like the leaves in the fall
But year after year I come back to this place
Just to remember the taste

Of strawberry wine and seventeen
The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love oh bittersweet
Green on the vine
Like strawberry wine

The fields have grown over now
Years since they’ve seen a plow
There’s nothing time hasn’t touched
Is it really him or the loss of my innocence
I’ve been missing so much

Like strawberry wine and seventeen
The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love oh bittersweet
Green on the vine
Like strawberry wine

10 comments:

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

That's a good song.....

the line: I still remember when 30 was old.....geez.....I'm getting closer!

Mibsy said...

Great song! but Ihave to admit that these are bittersweet memories for me and I much prefer the place I'm at now...whew, life sure seems to be a long haul sometimes, from "those days" to now.

raccoonlover1963 said...

I absolutely love that song. I had never heard the Wreckers sing it, only Dena Carter.
Lisa

Lydia said...

WW,
30s are a great decade for women. It will be an adventure for you!


Mibsy,
You said it! And I agree!

Lydia said...

Lisa,
I love it too. The Wreckers do a great job with it, great!

Honour said...

oh, lydia thanks for sharing. the lyrics are like true poetry - catching the bittersweet love of teenage years!

And WW I have to agree with Lydia, for me the thirties brought a freedom, a boldness, and a bravery I never thought I would know :)

Lydia said...

Honour,
Ah, your comments are like true poetry too...

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

freedom, a boldness, and a bravery.....I could definitely use some of that!

rachael said...

Lydia,
I'm finally catching up with reading the posts you've written while I've been gone, and I really enjoyed this one in particular. "Strawberry Wine" is such a fantastic song and I'm glad to see that you're drawing attention to The Wreckers, because they're definately underrated! Both of the girls are so talented.
Michelle Branch's debut album (before she was signed to a big record label),has a great acoustic song called "Leap of Faith", you should look it up if you get the chance (:

Lydia said...

Hi Rachael,
How sweet of you to use some of your post-vacation time to read my posts!
I will absolutely look up the song you recommended; "leap of faith" is one of my mantras, anyway, so I'd like it for that reason alone! The Wreckers are marvelous and I'm going to make a point of hearing more of them.

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