IF I WAS A SONG (2010 release) You’ll enjoy this incredible collection of family friendly, contemporary and inspirational radio-ready country songs from one of the songwriters who penned Rodney Atkins hit "Eat, Sleep, Love You, Repeat" ! Professionally produced with a Nashville band by award winning singer-songwriter Ryan Bizarri; a husband, father and dreamer.
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Jenn’s parents drink coffee from these two mugs that read “I rule the roost” and “I rule the rooster.” On Christmas break in Illinois in ‘05, I was having breakfast at the kitchen table like I always have since ‘96 when it hit me. When I got back to Nashville, I started with the chorus and modeled it with Garth Brooks in mind. The melody came easy but I went through several lyrics before I was happy with the imagery. It gets the most laughs in the live show. This song won grand prize in the 2007 Unisong.com International Song Contest and continues to be the most requested.
Eric and I met at a Rivers Rutherford song writing class at Belmont in spring of ‘05. Eric brought this idea to our session and we put the family spin on it. We started with the chorus lyric and melody. We worked the baseball imagery because it seemed like a classic All-American way for a father and son to hang out. The second verse is a slice right out of my life. One of my favorite lyrics I have ever written reads “he’s always got room on his plate for green eggs and ham.” A great song got even better when we brought 3 year old Taylor into the studio to sing. This song from front to back is what it’s all about for me.
I was enrolled in Mike Doyle’s song writing class, determined to blow him away with a song. Mike is a respected publisher who isn’t easily impressed. I knew it was gonna take something big. I came home from that class one evening and Jennifer gave me an article to read from a local parenting magazine. It was about artificial insemination and talked about how they dispose of the fertilized eggs when they’re not used. Mystified by the carelessness of that science “I Could Have Been Beautiful” was born. It took four weeks of writing, polishing, re-writing, shaping before it was complete. We strived to make every line have a double meaning like “I wasn’t lucky like all the other kids.” We wanted you to hear the song from front to back and then, like the movie “Sixth Sense”, you would want to hear it again, with whole new meaning. Tony Arata shared words with me that I hold dear to my heart. He said, “Ryan, this is the best song I have ever heard. It reminds me of my love for my daughters. If an artist was brave enough to cut it, it could be song of the year!” It won 4th place in the Unisong.com song contest and won People’s Choice in ‘06. The founder of that contest, Alan Roy Scott, wrote me a letter that stated, “The highest compliment that I can pay you is to say that I wish I had written thatsong myself.” Song plugger and friend, Jason Duke, one of our first believers, played it for famed producer Paul Worley and Paul said “This is incredible writing! Who wrote this?” So, the third person version comes alive in an attempt to make it accessible to male artists but over time, the first person version remains the most magical and inspiring. If I could choose to have written only one song in my career, it would be “I Could Have Been Beautiful.” Thank you Jenn. I love you. We dedicate this song to every person who never got the chance to be beautiful.
Doak Turner has an idea book that is 1000 lbs and take 5 guys to lift. We had a session back in ‘04 and he invited me to take a look and see if any move me. I came across a scribble of “It’s never too late to be, what you might have been.” I said “lets write that one!” This song applies to life in so many ways. The first verse is about a real life friend of Doak’s. She had kids, divorced, went back to school, graduated and became a teacher. The second verse is straight from that baseball movie. This was one of my first co-writes and it will stand the test of time because of its timeless message. When I play this song live, people raise their glasses and say “Amen!” Hold onto your dreams.
This song began with the very last line of the song “If I was a tear.” I found it as a recommended pick-up line but it was screaming love song. This song is one of my more poetic pieces lyrically and strikes me as James Taylor musically. “If I Was” won Honorable Mention in the ‘08 NSAI/CMT song contest.
I was at my nephew Phillip’s baby shower in ‘03 when our friend Deanne says to me “Ryan, you should write a song with all of the baby names in it!” so I did. Fans always ask how I remember all though’s names and I tell them it is a mystery... even to me! We gave a copy to our baby doctor at one of our check-ups. When Dr. came out to weighTaylor, he was humming the melody. You can hear baby Taylor laughing at the end of the track.
This song is real life made into a song. We were riding back to Illinois from Nashville in October ‘02. I had just performed my Bluebird audition. My grandma had arrived at her last days and my mom was talking about the sweet things my grandpa did for my grandma in her last years. Grandpa had Alzheimer’s so this made everything all that more difficult. My mom provided the hook and the story line. My favorite moment in this song again, is at the very end “He don’t know I’m his grandson but he calls me his best friend.” That gets me every time! I sang this song at his funeral when he passed in ‘05. I learned a lot of lessons about writing as this song was crafted. Some music professionals wanted me to change the name Julius in the song. I struggled with this but it was Tony Arata who solved my dilemma when he said “Was that his real name? Why would you change it?”
I attended a song writing workshop with Beth Neilson Chapman held at the Dyer Observatory in ‘06. The emphasis of the workshop was more about inspiration and less about craft. We heard from professional writers and learned about astronomy at the same time. Beth said “Isn’t it mind boggling? We’re all made of Star Stuff!” I went home and wrote the chorusand took it to JP to get the rest of the song! I told him when we were writing that I wanted this song to be for Taylor, who was 2 at the time, and all the dream chasers of the world. This song really pumps me up when I need to be recharged. Hopefully it does the same for you.
Eric was going through a serious breakup at the time which always makes for great song material. He brought the hook and we wrote the chorus first. I laugh because he didn’t really like the first chorus so I believe we wrote three more choruses. We ended up keeping the first one. Gotta follow your gut! This was the first time we realized we really we awesome partners in rhyme. I love this song cause of the melody and it is fun to perform live. If you wanna drown yourself in misery and heartbreak, play this song. This was the first song that Eric and I demoed together and we were very pleased with the track.
This was the first song that NSAI recognized in their song evaluation service. In ‘04, It was placed on a comp CD that was circulated around music row. I knew from the moment it was finished that I had reached a new place in my writing. This was also the first song that I had ever done a Nashville tracking session on. Once you see musicians of that caliber play your song, you want to have everything you write presented that way. Having a full song demo is a lot like your song putting on a tux and going to the ball. This is a fun song to do live because there is so much going on with the guitar chords.
I sat down with JP to write one day and he spills out this piece of song that went… “JFK in ’61, said we’ll out a man on the moon before the decades done…” and I said “and the race was on” and the rest was history. Chris LeDoux is a known hero of mine, not only for his musical legacy but because he was a driven soul. He was a bareback champion and a successful musical artist at the same time. I met Chris at the Mississippi Valley Fair in ’94 and I became an instant fan of him and his music. The last verse obviously needed to be about a Nashville songwriter. We all have lived this story. The line that sums up this rollercoaster of a career choice is “a hundred songs and a thousand no’s.” We keep writing because we love the music, there is no other reason to put yourself through such an endeavor as the music business.
This is the original version of the writing and the arrangement. This first person version has more power and realism. My friends Alicia Warwick’s vocals are amazing and David Rivers nailed the piano parts. I wanted my fans to hear this version as well as the third person version on track 3 to hear the similarities and the differences. We hope for a Martina McBride cut on this song someday soon!