Pain, hurt, heartache, gratitude, and love– these are some of the words you’d associate with Kellie Pickler’s poignant and tear-jerking new song, “If It Wasn’t For A Woman.”
Co-written on the anniversary of Pickler’s grandma’s passing with her husband, Kyle Jacobs, and songwriter, Brian Bunn, this song serves as a tribute to her grandma and the strong women in the writers’ lives.
After debuting it at this year’s CMA Music Festival’s “Ladies of Country” night, fan footage videos were uploaded and viewed over 150,000 times on YouTube. Later in August, episode three (“I Love the ACMs”) of her CMT reality show, “I Love Kellie Pickler”, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the genesis and recording process of this very song. To no surprise, fans were eager to get their hands on “If It Wasn’t For A Woman” immediately after that episode.
So, did the studio version of this song meet expectations? Well, let’s just say it didn’t, because it exceeded and surpassed what many were hoping for.
“If It Wasn’t For A Woman” is everything I personally love about country music. It has such a real and tangible storytelling element, which is what is at the core of this genre that prides itself in real-life stories.
Production wise, this piano-led ballad is supported by a guitar, slow drum beats and steel guitar, which makes for a wistful melody and overall traditional-leaning sound that is not far estranged from songs on country radio.
It is neo-traditional country at its finest, with a sound that Pickler consistently shines on. With her warm vocal tones, it is no surprise how well the palpable emotive quality of “If It Wasn’t For A Woman” is bolstered.
Lyrically, this song is as honest and vulnerable as a country song can get. You get a detailed narration of Grandma Faye’s attributes, her indispensable role in Pickler’s life and values she instilled in the North Carolina native’s upbringing.
“If it wasn’t for a woman, lead me by the hand, help me understand / if it wasn’t for a woman, teach me wrong from right, pray for me at night / I’d be half the woman I am If It Wasn’t For A Woman”
And as if the song wasn’t good enough, listeners are hit with a tearful visual imagery in the bridge of Pickler being ever so proud of the loving role her grandma played in her life.
“He saw your face in a photograph / Asked who’s this beauty with a bible in her hand / I said she’s my angel, and I’m the girl who wouldn’t know how to face the world If It Wasn’t For A Woman”
Pickler shared this insight with Sirius XM’s Storme Warren on his “The Highway” morning show last week.
“I feel like the verses definitely are autobiographical for my grandmother and I, but the chorus is so universal. You can put whoever influenced you in that strong way and made you the man or woman you are today. This can be y’all’s song as well”
Well, on behalf of everyone at CMchat and all country music listeners: thank you, Kellie, for your vulnerability and sharing the love and life lessons your Grandma Faye taught you with the world. This song, I daresay, is the best song you have released to date.
3 Chords & The Truth: 5/5
Looking ahead, fans can expect two more new songs, both duets, from the 31-year-old singer-songwriter before the year wraps. “Stars Over Texas” (with Tracy Lawrence) is due November 10th. And a new Christmas tune, “The Naughty List” (with Phil Vasaar) is expected to drop the same month before the two kick off their Christmas tour in Wheeling, West Virginia on November 24th.
Be sure to check out “If It Wasn’t For A Woman” below and let us know what you think of the new song!