The 4th single, The Hard Way, was released in 1993, nearly a year after COCO had been out. It was the lead track to COCO and it was short of a top 10 hit by 1 slot. Pictured is my vinyl 45 rpm record with Goodbye Again from State of The Heart on the flip side. This item is for collecting only since I’ve never listened to it on a record player.
Several things made me want to listen to it over and over again – the catchy tune, the Indigo Girls singing back-up vocals, but most of all the lyrics. In the chorus she sings:
Everything we got, we got the hard way.
I believe that most everyone can relate to that line because anything that we’ve ever worked hard for is something that we really wanted in our lives. I went to college as a non-traditional student at the ‘old age’ of 33. Boy, in retrospect, that sounds so young. I got my Bachelor’s degree at 39 and I worked hard, academically, emotionally and physically, to achieve my goal. Just before my last semester began, I was hospitalized for 4 days from passing out episodes and vertigo. I thought that I wasn’t going to finish the semester much less even start it. But I made it through and on graduation day, those words were never more true for me because I reached my goal of receiving my degree before I turned 40.
One of MCC’s most outstanding lines ever is found in THW. She wisely informs us in one of the verses :
We’ve got two lives, one we’re given and the other one we make.
When I first heard that line, I was surprised to realize that I actually had choices in how my life would unfold each day. I didn’t just have to accept things or ‘let’ life happen but I must choose to be active in my life to have a fulfilling life. And I have Mary Chapin Carpenter’s inspiring words to thank for that life lesson.
In 2002, The Hard Way took on another meaning for me. When my partner and I got married, our whole wedding party walked down the aisle to this most empowering song.
That’s just my story of what The Hard Way means to me. I have no doubt that anyone who listens to that song can’t help but feel inspired by it. Give it a listen.
Over & Out,