Suzzy Roche and her daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche just released their new album "I Can Still Hear You" and to celebrate we asked Suzzy to tell us about the song "Get The Better". Here is the story:
This song is the first that Lucy and I have written together. She had a tune and the chorus and was intending to record it for her last solo record, but wasn't satisfied with any of her lyrics, so she abandoned it. When we were making our new CD, I Can Still Hear You, she handed it over to me to see if I could come up with some words. I was doubtful.
At the time, New York City was in complete shutdown because of the pandemic, and we had been recording separately in our bedrooms, Lucy in Brooklyn, me in Manhattan. The mood was bleak. I wrote the lyrics one night while looking out my window at the dark deserted city.
One of the things I love about collaborating is that you come up with things that you wouldn't think of on your own. Because a melody already existed, I had to focus on fitting the words precisely into her phrasing, which freed me up, I think. It turned it into a challenge, similar to the cooking show "Chopped" where they give you a few ingredients to work with and you have to make a meal.
Plus, there was already a chorus: "And I let her get the better of me" which suggests a certain sentiment. However, the lyrics I wrote pushed that phrase in another direction. Surprisingly, it's a love song, a deeply personal love song, to whom, I'm not sure. But I couldn't have written it on my own. And for me, it reflects the strange dreamy sadness of the pandemic in NYC.
There's a certain mystery involved in writing every song. Each one is a miracle because there are many ways to destroy a song before it's finished. I'm glad that Lucy didn't abandon her song, and I'm glad I took a crack at writing the lyrics. It's one of my favorite ones on the record and it expresses something I've never quite heard before. Sometimes a song has to sit in the oven for a few years before it's cooked.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here