No matter what criticism splattered my way, I wouldn’t give up my silly passion; penning “my man done me wrong” songs made me feel alive. In no time I had a cache of country western lyrics I tried to shop around. I kept them saved on a secret grey disc I hide in my bottom desk drawer with the words “Loretta Lynn” scribbled on it in black Sharpie.
I was particularly proud of the first song I ever wrote was called “You Drive Me to Drinkin’, Now I’m Too Drunk to Drive.” I’d always had the feeling that song title had been used somewhere else. It was too good, so I’m positive I heard it somewhere and made it my own.
I was only part time at a funeral home at that time. Bills needed to be paid, so writing work had to be found, and this is why I spent all free time not in the cleaning the chapel or washing a hearse mastering jingles and wracking my brain about phrases that rhymed with Pacific Northwest subjects, such as “Douglas Fir.” It was utterly unfulfilling taking a job pitching advertising songs rather than writing anything that might really make it big, or creating something from my heart. But the phone never rang.
“I was his blossom, his fire, his smoke. Lightin’ his cig, mixin’ him a bourbon and Coke.”
But one day my ship came in, sort of. A letter on crisp white stationary landed on my desk. (yeah, obviously that should have been my clue…)
Dear Ms. Fournier:
We have received unsolicited lyrics with your copyright
information attached. Our artists are interested in the spunky
lyrics of “You Drove Me To Drinkin’, Now I’m Too Drunk To Drive.”
This letter in no way states an agreement that one or all of The
Dixie Chicks will be lending vocals to, crafting an arrangement for
or performing your lyrics.
Please inform us if the aforementioned lyrics are being
considered for negotiation or are under contract by other recording
artists, lyrical departments or management teams.
Dixie Chicks Management