“Lie a Little Better”

Written by Jessica Jakobeit. 11 November 2014.

The song “Lie a Little Better” comes from Lucy Hale’s first country album, which was released in 2014. She is very new to the music industry, so all of the songs on her album are very new to anyone who decides they want to check out the album. The songs could be considered pop-country, but overall are placed under the major category of country. The song “Lie a Little Better” is one of her more popular songs along with the song “You Sound Good to Me”. The top spot reached on the US Country Airplay was 54. It is not surprising that the song did not reach as high as it could have because she is so new to country music. She did reach pretty high for overall US airplay which is a good sign for Hale’s future music career. The song “Lie a Little Better” is interesting in that it plays on several versions of Hale’s life, and reaches out to the audience as well stylistically and the way that it is structured.

This song has a simple form structure. The structure of this song is a verse-chorus-bridge form. There is an intro, two verses, chorus, another verse, the chorus, the bridge, the chorus, and it ends with an outro. The lyrics of the song describe the narrator’s feelings about a person. The intro involves musical instruments and some vocal utterances of the phrase “woah” by Hale and her background singers. Throughout the verses several musical instruments come into the scene. At first it is just the guitar and what seems to be a tambourine. Following these instruments are the drums, bass guitar, and a keyboard. Some unique instruments that are also used are the steel guitar and an updated version of a banjo. All these instruments are fairly country or have at least been an influential part of country in the past. Hale or the writers may have wanted these instruments to be used because they have such a strong connection to country music. This connection would help the song sound more country which is what Hale intended. These instruments give Hale’s song more country credibility.

The way that the structure connects to the audience is the way that it creates certain pictures in their head when listening to the song. It is a qualitative structure considering that there is no leading up to a certain event. Each verse is just a different scene in which the narrator feels nervous. The first verse states “I just missed my exit, last night I lost my keys, I’m fumbling over the words, I don’t feel a bit like me these days”. The audience, in relation to what the narrator is describing, may be able to think back to a time where they were just as nervous about someone and had trouble looking for something or lost focus when involved in an important task. This may help someone realize that it is okay to be nervous sometimes if even famous people get that way.

The style is both clear and appropriate. The phrase “The truth is I’m fallin’ to pieces, anytime that you’re around” is a clear message that the narrator is nervous around the person that she likes. There is even an article from Hollywood Life that explains how this song “is about her experience hiding her feelings from one of her Pretty Little Liars costars”. The tempo of the music is upbeat, and the lyrics are not depressing. The song is describing how she cannot help but be nervous, and that she needs to figure out “how to lie a little better”. She described to Taste of Country how “a little crush turned her whole world upside down”. This does not mean that it was a bad thing. It just means that she did not want to make it obvious to other people that she had a crush on a certain person. The song is somewhat of an inspiring song to others. If Hale is able to describe how there is someone who makes her nervous, and that she has to learn to “lie a little better”, then maybe other people just need to learn to do the same thing. And it is in no way convincing people that lying is okay under every circumstance. Lying is only okay when it helps someone keep their feelings in check.

Out of all the tracks on the album, it is interesting that the title of this song also has to do with her acting life. The television show Pretty Little Liars is not anyway related to the album that Hale released, but it is related to the song “Lie a Little Better”. It was a pretty genius idea to have the song with this title because in the show she is known to be a pretty awesome liar. The song describes how as a person she is not that great at being able to lie about how she is feeling. The relation between the show and the song is an important factor because most of the people who listen to Hale’s music are the ones who were first interested in her through the show. Hale does not have a huge fan base YET. But there will come a time when one of her hits will reach the top ten of the Country Hot 100 billboard charts. This will just take more time and more songs that people will be able to connect to when they listen to them.

Time Form Listening Cues Discussion
0:00 Introduction Electric guitar and bass guitar followed by a tambourine and vocal utterances The electric guitar and bass guitar begin the song and tambourine introduces the vocal utterances “Woah-oh”. These vocals invite the audience to start singing.
0:15 Verse 1 “I just missed my exit..” The rest of the instruments come into the song including the steel guitar, piano, and the banjo. These instruments help create an authentic country sound.
0:34 Verse 2 “I would be a liar…” There is the same tempo as the first verse along with the same instruments used. The very end of the verse includes instrumental drums to lead into the chorus.
0:52 Chorus “The truth is…” This is a one-step dance rhythm with the same instruments as the verses. The main hook (at 1:22) has all the instruments stop with only a few drum beats for the phrase “Lie a little better”.
1:33 Verse 3 “Been trying to cover…” The same tempo as the first two verses, as well as dragging out the very last word of the verse leading into the beginning of the chorus.
1:51 Chorus “The truth is…”
2:32 Bridge “I’m losing this battle…” The bridge contains all of the instruments, but all of them accentuate every word that is said. There is only one type of tempo.
2:46 Chorus “The truth is…” This time the chorus starts off softer with only the banjo and some drum beats. It picks up (at 2:22) with some instrumental drums and the rest of the instruments start up again.
3:19 Outro “Woah-oh” The final refrain is followed by the hook one last time ending the entire song.

Works Cited

Wagmeister, Elizabeth. “Lucy Hale sings about a secret ‘PLL’ crush in ‘Lie a Little Better’. Hollywood Life.  31 July. 2014. Web. 5 November 2014.

Howell, Coti. “Lucy Hale releases ‘Lie a Little Better’ video set at the Opry”. Taste of Country. 30 July. 2014. Web. 6 November 2014.