When I first heard Kelly Clarkson’s song Piece by Piece, I found myself listening to it over and over again. I rarely define a style of music I listen to, mainly because I’m often attracted to amazing lyrics more than anything else. And Clarkson’s song certainly delivers. Here’s how her musical journey begins:
And all I remember is your back
Walking towards the airport, leaving us all in your past
I traveled fifteen hundred miles to see you
Begged you to want me, but you didn’t want to
It’s the real-life story of Clarkson’s absentee father, and how her husband eventually was able to pick up the shattered pieces of her life and reaffirm there are still men out there who know how to be caring; know how to be fathers.
Her rendition on American Idol last year was filled with honest emotion, and watching it is enough to make anyone a little teary eyed (I know I was) – and so was famed country singer and Idol judge Keith Urban.
When asked about the song by US Magazine she replied, “I’m 33 years old, I’m a grown woman. But it’s more of that thing where you can try your hardest to salvage relationships – and I did – but at the end of the day, if you keep getting hurt by someone because they just don’t know how to properly love people, it’s just not worth it.”
I believe Clarkson’s song resonates with me due to my own feelings of abandonment by my father – a man I once considered the best man I knew, my constant champion and a friend always there to listen and offer constructive advice. And like Clarkson, you try and salvage whatever you can from the relationship, raised with an understanding that they are your parents and deserve your respect. But at the end of the day, we all deserve to know we are loved without conditions – a parent most especially should know how to provide that. Her song concludes:
Piece by piece I fell far from the tree
I would never leave her like you left me
She will never have to wonder her worth
Because unlike you I’m gonna put her first
He’ll never walk away
He’ll never break her heart
He’ll take care of things
He’ll love her
Piece by piece
He restores my faith
That a man can be kind
And a father should be great
But time has a way of softening the anger. And much like Clarkson, I’ve been very lucky to have someone stand by me all these years, picking up the pieces and reminding me there are people out there who know how to love; know how to offer compassion; know how to put the pieces back together again so we can move on with our lives. Those are the people to surround yourself with through all of life’s journeys.
For all those people who take such unwavering care of our hearts – thank you. And thank you Miss Clarkson for sharing your personal story with all of us – your song is truly an inspiration.
Songwriters: GREGORY KURSTIN, KELLY CLARKSON.
Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC