Story Behind the Song: Rodney Atkins, ‘My Life’
To understand why Rodney Atkins wrote one of his best-loved songs, "My Life," you have to understand a little bit of backstory about the singer and his wife, singer-songwriter Rose Falcon.
In part, the song was inspired by Falcon's grandparents, who were married for over seven decades. In her last days, Falcon's grandmother was not able to speak, but she wrote a note to her husband that read, "I loved my life." That powerful sentiment, Atkins says, immediately inspired him to try to write the song.
Falcon's grandmother and Atkins have something meaningful in common, too: They were both orphaned as babies and ultimately adopted. Falcon's grandfather always worked hard to make his wife's life better and more meaningful, in much the same way that Falcon improves Atkins' life.
To learn more about what all of that means to the singer, read on to learn the story behind the song "My Life."
When Rose and I met, we knew this was it, and we were both like, "Wow, that's crazy -- hallelujah!" So we were talking about what we wanted, and she was like, "I want what my grandparents have." And I didn't know what that meant, because I hadn't met them yet.
They were married 71 years, and his mission in life was to make sure her life wound up better than it started. And I always related in a different way with her grandmother, because she was an orphan, just like I was. When you are [an orphan], I don't care if you get adopted by a great family, there are things that get in your mind, self-worth issues, thinking that you're just not good enough, you don't belong.
And I feel like I came to see myself differently in all that I did [when I met Rose]. I just chose to believe her; I chose to believe Rose instead of that little voice inside of me. And you carry yourself differently, you approach things differently [after you make that choice]. The biggest thing is that you allow yourself to be vulnerable in every way. I don't think I could have written the lines in "My Life" if I wasn't in that place.
When we started writing the song, I kind of had an idea about how the lines in the chorus should go. I told Rose, she hooked it, and we went, "Oh wow, that's awesome." We started trying to write this song from her grandmother's perspective, but we didn't get anywhere, and so we just went and opened up the floodgates [and wrote it from my perspective]. It was crazy, because I could say, "A vagabond," and she'd say, "Just running from my blood." It was almost back and forth like that.
Those lines just fell. We just kept going back and forth. Curt [Gibbs] was the co-writer, and he's kind of a track guy -- he was keeping us on the field. It was amazing, writing that song.