Music Friday: ‘Emeralds From Mountains Thrust Towards the Sky’ in Edwin McCain’s Popular Wedding Song, ‘I’ll Be’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you sensational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we feature Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be,” a tune with a key “emerald” reference that was selected by one-million-plus Dr. Phil viewers as the best wedding song ever written.

Embed from Getty Images

McCain employs the romantic gemstone metaphor in the very first verse of the 1998 hit: “The strands in your eyes that color them wonderful
 / Stop me and steal my breath 
/ And emeralds from mountains thrust towards the sky 
/ Never revealing their depth.”

While most listeners would bet the farm that McCain intended “I’ll Be” to be a heartwarming love song, the 44-year-old songwriter revealed that it was actually written as a prayer in a moment of personal and professional desperation. He was going through a rough breakup with his girlfriend while struggling with the unwieldy demands of his record label.

“It was kind of a Hail Mary prayer for me, personally,” he told an online publication. “The idea was that maybe if I write my future, it’ll come true.”

McCain told SongFacts.com that, despite the misinterpretation of “I’ll Be,” he is very pleased that his song has become a favorite wedding song and he’s always proud to play it in concert. “I’m not associated with the ’90s,” he said. “I’m associated with weddings. So it never ends. It’s timeless.”

“I’ll Be,” which was released as the first single from McCain’s second album, Misguided Roses, rose to #5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and stands as McCain’s biggest hit.

See the end of this post for the official video of “I’ll Be.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“I’ll Be”
Written and performed by Edwin McCain.

The strands in your eyes that color them wonderful
Stop me and steal my breath
And emeralds from mountains thrust towards the sky
Never revealing their depth

And tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love
I’ll be captivated, I’ll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above

And I’ll be your cryin’ shoulder
I’ll be love suicide
And I’ll be better when I’m older
I’ll be the greatest fan of your life

And rain falls angry on the tin roof
As we lie awake in my bed
And you’re my survival, you’re my living proof
My love is alive, and not dead

And tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love
I’ll be captivated, I’ll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above

And I’ll be your cryin’ shoulder
I’ll be love suicide
And I’ll be better when I’m older
I’ll be the greatest fan of your life.

And I dropped out, I burned up, I fought my way back from the dead
I tuned in, I turned on, remembered the thing that you said

And I’ll be your cryin’ shoulder
I’ll be love suicide
And I’ll be better when I’m older
I’ll be the greatest fan of your life

And I’ll be your cryin’ shoulder
I’ll be love suicide
And I’ll be better when I’m older
I’ll be the greatest fan of your life
The greatest fan of your life.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s