Little Miss is not only the perfect song to describe our lives, but for many, it seemed to have been released at the perfect time as well. Read how it couldn’t have been released at a better time for our next Little Mister, Nick.
I was intrigued by the Little Miss Project, and I decided I wanted to do my own, even though A) I’m a guy, a “Little Mr.” I guess, and B) I’d rather write it than make a video since I consider myself a writer (of many things). So hopefully, a lot of fans read this and enjoy it.
I’ve been a fan of Sugarland ever since late 2005 and early 2006. I’d been a huge fan of Bon Jovi all my life, and when I heard the version of “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” with Jennifer Nettles on vocals, I was intrigued by this voice and this woman. As I was just becoming a country music fan again after a break of a few years, I hadn’t really heard of Sugarland since they were new to the scene, only on their first album. Driving home from work one day, “Something More” came on my satellite radio on the new country station. I not only drove past my apartment building to continue listening to it, I hit the rewind button (which you can do on satellite) at least twice and listened to it again and again before getting out of my car. I thought, “I knew I liked that woman in the Bon Jovi song.” So, I downloaded the entire “Twice the Speed of Life” album. I loved it, and I listened to it constantly. I had found my new favorite band, and since then, I’ve seen the band live at least five times and gotten every album, every song I could get my hands on. I was even frustrated for awhile in the summer of 2006 when “Want To” came on the radio and I couldn’t download it yet. There were many occasions where I used my satellite receiver’s rewind feature repeatedly with that song, as I did with “Something More” that first time I’d heard it.
As I’ve followed Sugarland’s career, I’ve grown to love them more and more. As a fan of many genres and types of music and a songwriter and musician myself, I love how they incorporate so many influences into their music and have such an eclectic set list. I love how their attitudes toward their music seem to reflect a true love and appreciation for their fans. They give us what we want. At least, they give me what I want. Jennifer and Kristian also seem to be two truly nice, loving people who are “enjoying the ride” and sharing it with their fans. And, based on the interviews I’ve seen with them, they seem to be two of the most intelligent, well-rounded musicians in the mainstream today. These are two individuals whom you can respect not only as great songwriters, musicians, and performers but as people too. These are two people who you could see being friends with if you knew them. All this comes out in their lyrics, as well. They talk about very relatable topics in a very relatable way, and they seem like very down-to-earth people who you’d love if you met them.
On October 12, 2010, I got up fairly early in the morning and remembered that Sugarland was releasing a new song that day, one of three the three weeks before the entire The Incredible Machine album would be released to the public. I wanted to get my hands and ears on their music as soon as possible. That week’s song was called, “Little Miss,” and I downloaded it and then added it my iTunes library on my iPhone so I could listen throughout the workday. Even though it was a song written from a female perspective, I could definitely relate to the lyrics, and I listened to the song probably ten times throughout the day.
It first resonated with me from my own standpoint, with lines like, “Little Miss down on love, Little Miss I give up” and especially, “I’ll take less when I always give so much more.” So much of it spelled out my frustrations of still being single at 33 and dealing with so many shallow, selfish women throughout the years. I put everything I have into my relationships, and I would much rather give to someone I love than do something for myself, so that really hit me. It also resonated with me in that I have a good number of female friends who probably feel that way, the way the song describes. And I’ve seemed to date a lot of bitter women who seem to have given up and won’t open their heart to anyone. I hoped (and still hope) to find someone whose “big ole heart beats wide open…ready now for love.”
Of course, this wasn’t the first song by Sugarland written from a female perspective that resonated with me deeply. I remember watching the CMA Awards on a Monday night in November 2006, the night before Enjoy the Ride was released, and Jennifer and Kristian premiered “Settlin’.” Here was another song that I listened to (and watched) repeatedly throughout the night, this time using the magic of my DVR. “Fifteen minutes left to throw me together for Mr. Right Now, not Mr. Forever.” Change the genders, and yup, that was my life. “I’ve had enough so-so for the rest of my life.” Yup, big time. That still has to be one of my favorite ever lines in a song. It perfectly sums up my feelings so simply and beautifully. I even named a novel I’m attempting to write (and am 90 percent done with) from another lyric, “Raise the Bar High.” Thinking about it now as I write this, I’m sure a lot of the themes from “Little Miss” are very prevalent in my story too.
So many other songs got to me too. I’ll never forget first hearing the lines, “I push too hard, and I give too much. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I promise I’m worth it,” from “Take Me As I Am” in the summer of 2008, very much me again. And during that summer, I was working a job I couldn’t stand, and when I heard “Already Gone,” that became what I called my official “Job-Quitting Song.” Because I was “already gone” from that place even before I was able to physically leave. I did end up with a better job within a month of the release of Love on the Inside. I also continued to listen to “Something More” repeatedly and joked that it would be the song I blasted the day my band got a recording contract, the day I became a published writer, or the day I won the lottery. Now however, it means, umm, something more.
As October 12, 2010 wore on at work, “Little Miss” was ringing in my head. I remember listening to it again and again to make sure I had the right lyrics echoing up in there. You know how a song sometimes sticks in your head, and you really don’t know what they’re saying? I didn’t want that to happen with song for some reason. Anyway, at around 4:30, my boss comes to get me and says the big boss of the office wants to meet with us. I was getting laid off. Yes, on a Tuesday. But walking away from the office that day, I kept hearing that song I’d been listening to all day, echoing in my head and saying, “It’ll be alright again…I’m okay…It’ll be alright again…I’m okay,” and I knew everything would be alright again. I was okay. Even though I’d quit a bad job for this one, which I liked much better, and now I’d lost it, “Sometimes you got to lose till you win.”
I’d never heard of a band releasing a song each week ahead of the album release, but I feel like God put that song in my life at the right time on the exact right day. So, while I’m still looking for work, I’m okay. I’m enjoying the time off, and I know that God has placed me in the right situation at the right time. Now, when I listen to “Something More,” I really think that there may truly be something more out there. I liked my job okay, but I was never really passionate about it. I just always thought that I was never going to be one of those people who loved their jobs. But maybe now, I can be. Who knows? Maybe something happens with my band or my writing. Or maybe I find a whole different career that’s really challenging and fun. Who knows? The future is wide open. I’ve got the support of my family and friends to figure this all out, and I love it. It’s already alright again.
I never thought I’d find a band in my thirties that had as much influence on me as the Bon Jovis, the Guns N’ Roses, the Pearl Jams, and the Aerosmiths of my youth or the older bands such as the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd I’ve discovered along the way. But in Sugarland, I’ve found that. For five years, their music has been there for me, seemingly telling stories about my life and influencing me as a musician and lyricist as well, but none more so than on October 12, 2010, the day “Little Miss” was released. I thank Sugarland for that song, for so many other songs, and for the many hours of entertainments they’ve granted me. And I thank God for placing the brilliance of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush in my life