“Just to See You Smile”, written by Mark Nesler and Tony Martin, was released in August of 1997 on Tim McGraw’s album Everywhere (1997) as the third single. The song spent 42 weeks on the Billboard charts, giving it the record for being the longest-running on the Billboard country charts in the 1990s. The song would eventually be put on Tim McGraw’s Greatest Hits album in 2000 showing the success that the song had and how much fans loved it. According to fan Jana Gala, “’Just to see you smile’ is one of my all time favorites of Tim McGraw’s songs. It is a great recording, and whenever I press play, it puts a smile on my face!”
In the beginning of the song the instrumentation has an up beat tempo, which creates a positive feel for me. This song is a story between a man and woman who I believe were high school sweethearts who eventually split up due to different life paths that they each wanted to follow. Then one day, after many years, the woman comes up to the man with her boyfriend or husband basically asking for the man’s approval. The man gave his approval, although he lied about it solely to see her smile.
Though this should be more of a sad song I believe that the instrumentation allows for a more positive outlook to a depressing situation. I think that the positive feeling is there because the artist wanted to let the person know how much good they brought to his life and though he was sad to see her go, he was still happy to have had her a part of his life. In the beginning of the song, the artist emphasized the lyrics “glitter, gold, and money” because she wanted the nice life and to get out of their home town; he was the one that wanted to stay and he would never be able to give her the type of life she wanted. Just like he emphasized the name of the city Amarillo that was probably their hometown and the state Tennessee because that’s where she was moving to get that life she wanted. In the chorus, the artist emphasizes the words cost, lost, smile, and anything; I feel that he does this because no matter what it cost him or what ever he lost he would be wiling to do anything just to see her smile which shows his dedication and how important she was too his life. I believe if the artist would have had a slower beat and a sadder tone in his voice it would change the whole song because I think it would show him being sad and asking more of why she left him instead of saying that she had a good effect on his life.
“Just to See you Smile” has a Verse, Chorus structure. The song’s structure creates a separation in the time periods of the recent and distant past, in order to help the audience to understand the message that the song is trying to relay. The chorus relays the message throughout the song saying no matter what happens or how much it costs, I’ll be there to make you smile. Through the repetition of the chorus, the message of the lyrics is heard multiple times, but also there is a reoccurring instrumentation during the chorus to create a similar feel to the lyrics themselves. Though there isn’t a bridge, there is a part that is a verse that could be received like a bridge, where the steel guitar overpowers the background melody that is the same throughout the song to change the tempo of the song slightly. Also it changes the time periods, which was changed by the lyrics to invent this sense of recent past vs. distant past. Though it never changes how the person feels about the girl, it does change how the audience perceives the message. This verse, allows the artist’s message to be seen as newer memories showing that he still cares and cherishes the moments he had with her; he doesn’t regret any moments they shared together, if he could he would do all over again. This message is reinforced by the lyrics in this verse and chorus like “and yesterday I knew just what you wanted…so I told you that I was happy for you and given the chance I’d lie again… I’d do anything that you wanted me to…never count the cost it’s worth all that’s lost just to see you smile.” These lyrics exemplify him showing his devotion to her happiness is still there from the past and still to this day he would do anything to make her happy and wouldn’t regret it for a second.
In the end this song has been structured to remember the past through the moment in the verse that resembles a bridge, which allows the message of the song to be brought forth in a clear perspective. Also due to the Verse and Chorus structure the artist was able to properly get the song’s message across. I believe that the way a Verse and Chorus structured song allows for a story to be told, in which it strengthens the chorus and verses letting the message of the song intertwined between the verses providing the time period that is needed to understand the exigence for the song. Through the lyrics of this song it allows for a bit of interpretation too fully understand what the artists is trying say to the audience. The instrumentation throughout this song is what determines the way the message of this song is interpreted.
Song Structure Break Down
|0:00-0:14||Introduction||Steal guitar solo then slowly integrated with a guitar||there is an up beat tempo to create a positive feel|
|0:14-0:35||Verse 1||Emphasized Glittered ,Gold, Money. Banjo was integrated||you have to read into the meaning of these words to understand the story|
|0:35-0:55||Verse 2||Drums were finally integrated||words Tennessee and Amarillo are emphasized|
|0:55-1:28||Chorus||lower tone in the guitar and steal guitar||the lower tone is to create a bit of sadness|
|1:28-1:49||Verse 3||there is a louder pitch from the guitar when he sings space||I think is space is the most important word in this verse thats why there is a louder pitch while he is singing it|
|1:49-2:09||Verse 4||the emphases in in the steal guitar over the whole songs melody||although this is a verse is sort of serves as a bridge changing the instrumentation and also the scene of the story|
|2:09-2:33||Chorus||violin is integrated||melody staying in tune with the rest of the other choruses|
|2:33-3:27||Outro||violin and steal guitar most prevalent until the steal guitar takes over to end the song with a solo||Emphasizes the word smile at the very end|
Tim McGraw. (2015). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 06:36, Mar 07, 2015, fromhttp://www.biography.com/people/tim-mcgraw-9542412
Gala, Jala. “Amazon Review.” Amazon.com. N.p., 14 Mar. 2014. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.