Faith Hill epitomizes the American dream. She went from flipping burgers at McDonalds in early adulthood to rising to fame as one of country music’s most successful artists of all time. She’s sold more than 40 million records worldwide, and besides being a singer, Hill’s an actress and a philanthropist. Plus, I hear her husband’s pretty famous too. The songs she chooses are written with depth and emotion – songs that echo to the core of who she is, and if you listen closely, you may just learn a life lesson.
1. Don’t forget your roots and never let fame go to your head.
The year after Faith Hill appeared in Stepford Wives, she released “Mississippi Girl,” an autobiographical song that let critics and everyone else know that she wasn’t getting too big for her britches and was just the same ole Mississippi girl she’d always been. Whether you’re famous on a national stage (like Hill) or even in your small little town, don’t ever forget your roots or start believing your fame makes you better than the people around you.
‘Cause a Mississippi girl don’t change her ways
Just ’cause everybody knows her name
Ain’t big headed from a little bit of fame
I still like wearing my old ball cap
Riding my kids around piggy back
They might know me all around the world
But, y’all, I’m still a Mississippi girl
2. Embrace hard times with courage and accept the love of others.
When the storms of life inevitably come, many people choose to either wallow in their pain or stick their heads in the sand, hoping their problems will go away, but Hill’s powerful song, “Red Umbrella” suggests the best way to deal with dark and stormy days is to face them head on, taking comfort in the love of others, and choosing to believe, “I’m gonna be okay, so let it rain.”
According to the song, love is a “red umbrella” that protects us when our dreams seem to be falling apart. If you find yourself facing day darks, choose to believe things will get better and surround yourself with “red umbrella” friends who can protect you from the rain.
So let it rain, it’s pourin’ all around me
Let it fall, it ain’t gonna drown me
After all I’m gonna be okay, so let it rain
3. Don’t give up on your dreams even when everyone else does.
People may give up on you and your dream, but don’t let that quiet the American spirit within you. Faith Hill should know that better than anyone. She auditioned as a backup singer for Reba McEntire, but didn’t get the job. The lesson of Hill’s “American Heart” is to keep on keeping on, refuse to give up, and take heart knowing that all across this great land, people just like you are chasing their dreams too.
From the small town Friday night lights,
To the Broadway neon burning up bright,
We’re all the same and it’s in our veins,
A spirit that you can’t keep down,
A fire inside that’ll never burn out,
If you are the owner of,
An American Heart
4. When you’re in love nothing else seems to matter.
When I first got married, I didn’t have a job or really any prospects for one, and neither of us really knew how to cook anything worth eating; so the first meal I made our new little family consisted of a tin of muffins and Uncle Ben’s 90 Second Rice. We look back now and laugh, knowing we were rich in love, even though our ten-year plan and life skills might have been a little lacking. Hill’s “The Lucky One” echoes this same idea – about a woman who is barely making ends, but she realizes she’s got “sunshine everywhere” when she’s with her man, because when you’re in love nothing else really seems to matter.
‘Cause you’re mine
That’s all I need to know
The sunshine’s everywhere we go
It’s so right ’cause I’ve got you to hold
Every night, yeah
I’m the lucky one.
I’m the lucky one.
5. Parents to kids: Live life to the fullest.
Every parent wants his or her child to have a perfect life, to know only happiness and joy and never know pain, but as parents we also know that’s an unrealistic expectation. Rather than sugar coat our hopes and dreams for our kids, it’s better to simply hope that they live life to the fullest, come what may. That’s what Faith Hill’s “My Wish” is all about.
The narrator progresses from hoping her kids have days with beautiful sunsets, lullabies, and fields of flowers to hoping they have days where they take a chance on love but know heartbreak too. The song ends with hoping they know, “
That heaven holds more than just some stars
Someone’s up there watching over you
That’s the kind of day I wish for you
6. When you lose someone you love, the best memories become the greatest blessings.
The lesson behind Hill’s “There You’ll Be” is pretty straightforward. When someone you love passes away, you will find the biggest blessings in remembering who they were and all the good that they brought to your life. You’ll laugh and cry, and you’ll remember them for the rest of your life.
In my dreams I’ll always see you soaring by the sky
In my heart there’ll always be a place for you
For all my life
I’ll keep a part of you with me
And everywhere I am there you’ll be
Image source: Facebook/@Faith Hill