Back in the studio

Posted on: January 28th, 2009 by Amy Grant 78 Comments

Today is day 8 in the studio.
We’re working on a song called “Better Not to Know” that Cindy Morgan and I wrote.
My Grandmother Grant died in the spring of 1988 when my first child was 5 months old.
We planted a field of fruit trees in her memory….little leafless sticks with promising root balls.
I lived on that farm another ten years… Had two more children there, and then life took a few unexpected turns.
When I left the farm I left behind the shade of those 75 trees that had grown into a thick canopy over our heads
They never had any fruit.
Evevtually, the farm was sold.
Then this past summer I got a phone call.
The current owner of the property had had the surviving fruit trees pruned, the farm next door had started keeping bees.
My grandmother’s trees were loaded down with peaches and pears and apples.

When Cindy came to my house last fall, I had just made my first batch of pear preserves
We talked and ate and wrote this song:

We sowed our seeds
Watered with tears
Waiting for signs of growth
Took months of days
And then took years.
We took our steps
We took our falls
Somewhere along the way
We just got lost
And we lost it all.
Nothing ventured nothing gained
The risk of living is the pain
And what will be will be anyway

Oh, it’s better not to know
The way it’s gonna go
What will die and what will grow
It’s better not to know

Those tiny stems became these trees
With dirt and storms
And sun and air to breathe
Like you and me
And some fell down
And some grew tall
And those surviving twenty winter thaws
Have the sweetest fruit of all
But innocence and planting day
Are both long gone
So much has changed
And if we got to do it all again …

Oh it’s better not to know…

  • Andrew

    Amy-
    It was great to hear you sing this song last fall. It’s always great to know the stories behind the songs.
    I hope you are having a blast being back in the studio!
    Andrew

  • James

    …simply beautiful…hearing your music is like getting a letter from a long-lost friend…all a twitter with anticipation of what you’ll say next…your music has an amazing way of mirroring so much of what i am going through…keep growing sister…

  • http://sleeplessmornings.blogspot.com Merrie

    Wow, Amy. Great story and very moving lyrics. I look forward to knowing how it will sound with music, etc.
    Happy new year — hope the weather in TN is alright with all of these storms.
    Take care!
    Merrie

  • Moore Family

    o that is so thoughtful and deep. Thank you

  • Angela Setzer

    Amy you always have known the right things to say. Putting your thoughts w/Cindy, another of my favs, you can only get brilliancy. I don’t know exactly how this song will sound, put i can honestly say it’s one of the most truthful things i’ve ever read. I love my little life that i had, but if i had known ahead of time some of the things that would’ve been,i probably would have taken a different path. It’s definantly better not to know.

  • Zoe W

    Amy, wow, it is so amazing to be able to have a conversation with you. Thank you for sharing what you are up to – you are in my thoughts – I hope you are having a fab time.
    As for your beautiful words and the thoughts they form – it’s really encouraging to think of the tenderness that there is in surviving and stepping on.

  • Laura

    Amy I’m really looking forward to your new music, these lyrics are beautiful. I’m also hoping you put What Angels Hear and Threaten Me with Heaven on the CD.

  • Jennifer Bowers

    I can’t WAIT to hear the new cd!!! :) Please hurry! hahaha xo…I know it’ll be worth the wait. I’m 26 years old and have loved you since I was little…if you could come back to ontario again that would make my entire life…seriously lol…please and thank you :) love ya xo

  • Serini Betnacourt

    Wow, I really can’t wait to hear that song. I think the lyrics have so much more impact when you know the story behind it. Maybe someday I will right one of my own, because I know we all have a story to share. SB Wichita, Kansas

  • http://www.caffeinejesusandpontification.wordpress.com Julie Fidler

    That’s why I admire you so much. Amazing depth, incredible talent.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p010536f67965970b/ Kelley

    This was my favorite song of all them that you performed during the LMO anniversary tour. Just love it….the imagery gives me chills…Cant wait to hear it fully produced!!

  • Paul Martin

    Amy,
    Wow,That just pricked my heart. I had a rough week and it was like that said what I was thinking.
    I am looking forward to your new CD.
    Your songs bring me back to a place of honesty and truth when I have faltered.
    But isn’t great to know God gives us grace and mercy when we fall.
    Also if anyone is looking for encouragement
    check out http://www.authenticlifesite.com.
    Paul

  • Jan

    Amy,
    I love the lyrics to this song and look forward to hearing it on your new CD! You just write the BEST songs!!!
    My Christmas present to myself and a friend was to come to Nashville to hear you and Vince sing in your holiday concert. It was {{{ wonderful }}} and we both enjoyed it so much.
    Enjoy your time in the studio. God bless, Jan (Oak Ridge, TN)

  • Jan

    Amy,
    I love the lyrics to this song and look forward to hearing it on your new CD! You just write the BEST songs!!!
    My Christmas present to myself and a friend was to come to Nashville to hear you and Vince sing in your holiday concert. It was {{{ wonderful }}} and we both enjoyed it so much.
    Enjoy your time in the studio. God bless, Jan (Oak Ridge, TN)

  • Jan

    Amy,
    I love the lyrics to this song and look forward to hearing it on your new CD! You just write the BEST songs!!!
    My Christmas present to myself and a friend was to come to Nashville to hear you and Vince sing in your holiday concert. It was {{{ wonderful }}} and we both enjoyed it so much.
    Enjoy your time in the studio. God bless, Jan (Oak Ridge, TN)

  • Catherine

    Amy,
    The lyrics are so beautiful…thank you for sharing your heart and the story that inspired this song. I can’t wait to get your new record.
    Catherine

  • http://nortonstudio.wordpress.com/ Jen Norton

    Amy…the words to that song are like a lace strung through the rivets that hold the last 20 years of my life together. They tug at my heart, both holding it together in strength and providing a slightly-uncomfortable tension. I’m not a famous singer, but you once again make me feel like we must have so much in common.
    Jen

  • http://keeplookingupward.blogspot.com/ Christine

    And this is why I LOVE you. :) This is why you are my favorite. I love these sweet and honest songs you write about the good and the hard times of life. I love how you write about change. When I met you in Wichita you told called me a “baby” (and you’re right, I’m young!), but these are the things I’ve loved about you since I went through PUBERTY (years and years ago!!!) and even before that (because I’m wierdly sentimental like that). You’d better never stop writing songs because I don’t know what I’d do without you! Can’t wait to hear it. I know Wichita was kind of a dull crowd but PLEASE come back!!!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/RebekahA/ Rebekah

    Beautiful. Your story reminds me of when I was a kid and my family moved from the country to the city and filled our fairly tiny, new suburban yard with fruit trees- also apple, plum and pear I believe. I remember laying under them and day dreaming. I still love the blooming fruit tree blossoms in the spring- nothing like it!

  • Kim Robles

    Hi Amy,
    We’ll I just turned 45 in December and these past couple of years has found me just looking back at all the memories made in my life thus far. Great memories, and not so great memories. So, I like your line
    “What will be, will be anyway”! Because as I’ve gotten older, I know that’s it. So very true and freeing!!
    I’m happy if God just has me on an “as need to know basis! Ha Ha!)
    Did I say that right?
    Anyway, great song!
    By the way, part of my “great” memories has you and your music in them, so thanks for all the years of great music and continuing to stay “Real”. I’m always looking for the neat things you bring to the table.
    Can’t wait for your new album.
    Keep them coming, you still have alot of us “old fans” out there.
    God bless,
    Kim

  • Janice

    Wow! Great song! Just reading the lyrics gave me goosebumps! Lifevis something that changes on a dime and I think it is better not to know what’s coming. Better for God to know so it can work out according to his plan.
    Can’t wait for the new record!!!

  • cindy

    Beautiful.

  • Mindy

    What a insightful, beautiful “planting” of memories and timeless truths inspired by God’s creation and timing.
    ..Reminds me of the tall tree talking to the seedling of “How Can We See That Far”

  • Marilyn Soper

    Just beautiful, simple, yet meaningful, it is better not to know God’s plan, life should be lived to the fullest know matter what, what a great way to say it, can’t wait for the new CD.
    Marilyn AKA Sassy

  • Amy Autumn Brooker

    The words and the story are beautiful! You and Cindy Morgan are both great songwriters. Can’t wait to hear it with the music. Looking forward to the new album!
    Amy

  • http://www.myspace.com/beesquared2 The Bailey’s

    Thank you! For your time, your talents, and sharing it all!

  • Dasha

    Wonderful! Really reminds me to let God be in charge, that the storms will be weathered, that hope is there.

  • NOLAN

    LOVE IT! This song will be a hit on the new album. What else would we expect from you Amy – taking the beauty and pain of life and translating it into music to touch the human soul. This story is amazing – so many layers of meaning and symbolism. The fruition of life has finally come – 20 years down the road. So happy for you.

  • http://www.crossyourts.blogspot.com Kelly H-Y

    This is the one you played at your concert in Portland this past Fall … absolutely beautiful! You write such amazing lyrics. Can’t wait to hear it again!

  • sarah

    it really is better not to know… if i knew then what would become of my life… I am proud of moments, ashamed of moments, and some hurt so bad, but God’s plan is better than our own and for that I am glad.

  • Dave “Blue” Shannon

    Thanks Amy. It is always to treat to find out more about you with each song.
    Blue

  • http://net11tess.blogspot.com Tess (Sydney, Australia)

    Hi Amy :)
    Thank you for sharing your memories and the beautiful lyrics that will ensure they are remembered the world over!
    I saw you a long time ago in Sydney Australia and just discovered your website – have you got plans for a tour here any time soon?
    Have a great weekend \0/ Tess

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p010536faddcf970b Mary Kean

    Back In The Studio – Song:
    Amy – you may be the only successful christian I’ve read – that actually realizes that some people’s winter goes on and on and on…..There have been times I have thought to myself – when I get to Heaven am I going to just exclaim – “What the Heck was that all about” – referring to my life!
    I hope you are right – I hope something sweet is building from the constant year after year after year of winter time!
    God knows and the rest of us are just guessing – I guess! (Per one of Rich’s funny stories)
    Later Alligator, Can’t wait for the next work.
    We love you – We just Can’t help ourselves!!!!

  • Julio Jimenez

    Hi Amy , I hear you from Costa Rica, since I was kid, and I loved so much my grandfather and I understand you.. Blessings , Julio Jimenez

  • Kathy Cooper

    Amy my name is Kathy Cooper a few years ago I won a contest and got the pleasure of meeting you and listening to your wonderful voice.The promblem I have is you give me an autograph photo and my home burnded down would it be to much to ask for another one?Thankyou Kathy Cooper address is 1911 Dobbins Ave. Anderson sc 29625

  • Andrew

    I had a sleepless weekend. Very tired today. I have been questioning alot of things. When I read your story about “Better Not To Know” I felt like I was seeing more clearly. Your experience helped me to refocus and helped me to find the things that matter and are lasting in the midsts of the temporary stuff. Thanks Amy for sharing your life. Your willingness to do so has really helped me

  • http://www.gabrielsgarden.com richie

    amy-
    i’m hearing GREAT things about the new record from my friends in the biz- i am praying that you will be blessed by this work of art you are creating as it blesses all of us…. SO VERY glad to hear you are working with Cindy- one of my favorite writes EVER!!
    prayers are with you as you continue the tapestry of your life -
    richie
    gabriel’s garden
    brentwood, tn

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0105365af598970b Lisa

    Amy that was great ,i really cannot wait for your New Cd to come out! Thanks A Bunch! Lisa

  • http://www.EmphasisOnMoms.com Dionna

    Those words give me the chills. I can’t wait to hear the completed version.

  • http://JesusNeedsNewPR.blogspot.com Matthew

    Can’t wait to hear the new music/stories/dreams you’ll be sharing on the new record, Amy. My family always had fruit trees, so reading this post brought back memories of being in the kitchen with my grandmother and she teaching me how to make homemade apple and peach pies. She died in 1995, but I still carry on the tradition of making her pies for holidays and special occasions. Beautiful lyric, btw.

  • http://bellsouth.net Audrey Green

    AMY,
    MY name is Audrey Green.Starting in Oct,2008 the Lord Jesus Christ started giving me songs with music. A real miracle!I am a nurse at a cancer center.I would love for you to sing some of these songs but don’t know how to get them to you to hear.My Pastor sayes they sound Jewish.I have always loved you ElShadai.Thanks

  • http://www.myspace.com/shannsbass Shannon C.

    Beautiful message behind those lyrics. I have been listening to your music since 76 and you have such a way with words. Looking forward to the new CD very much.
    God bless you in mighty ways dear Amy.

  • Alan Carver

    I have always enjoyed, not just from Amy, but any artist who shares the story behind the song! I look forward to seeing if this song makes the final cut on the album.

  • Mary Ellen Tohidi

    your new song is great and i will buy the new cD when it comes out. i have all but 3 of your CD the 3 first ones I do not have. Might get them when i finally get a job. Until then i am working for free at my church for our Easter play will be a member of the crowd and I will sew costumes for the play. I am also going to be working for free at a pro life clinic were they give women free ultra sounds and talk them into having the baby or putting the baby up for adoption. I am also going to be my nieces Leanna godmother on 2-22-09. That is the same day as my son’s Robert 14th birthday.

  • Patrick Flynn

    Amy, I am a die-hard fan since the 80′s. Can’t wait for your next studio album. You always have something good to say! As you said many years ago “It’s not worth singing if you haven’t got something good to sing about”. Patrick, south africa
    p.s. please tour South Africa

  • John Barrand

    Hi Amy.
    Enjoyed reading your posts today after buying your most recent greatest hits album for my daughter. And a songbook- I am teaching her guitar with it, Shelley is 10. We’ve just moved to a new house, with a big bear tree in full fruit (we live in Wellington, New Zealand). Is there any chance of a recipe for pear preserves?
    Love your work, John Barrand.

  • joseph

    Hi, I am Joseph from Hong kong.
    Say hi with a cantonese version of Amy Grant’s Baby Baby
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1yOBheGasY
    Cheers!

  • gjakard2003

    I love coming to this site and finding a new blog from you. You are so inspiring. I can’t wait for the new CD… and tour. (hint hint)

  • Mel Lotti

    Love these lyrics!

  • http://www.clearcutbookkeeping.com Trish Maselli

    Amy:
    I have always enjoyed your music and am looking forward to your new album. I enjoy listening to you and Vince live in concert and was disappointing when I couldn’t attend your Christmas concert at Mohegan Sun Arena due to a conflict I had this year.
    I am in the process of completing a novel and would like your permission you to use your lyrics to All I have to be (this happens to be one of my favorite songs by you) in my book. Is there an address I could send you a copy or an email I can forward it to? Please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
    Trish

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