Darius Rucker – “It Won’t Be Like This For Long”

Brady Vercher | October 13th, 2008

Darius Rucker Songwriters: Chris DuBois, Ashley Gorley, and Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker’s second country single, “It Won’t Be Like This For Long,” exhibits a few flaws, but one of the main knocks against it is one that mars his album, Learn To Live: it’s lack of originality. The song revolves around specific moments between a father and his daughter as she grows up. If it sounds familiar, Trace Adkins topped the charts earlier this year with “You’re Gonna Miss This,” a song with a very similar theme. And it may not be such a coincidence that they’re so similar, considering Ashley Gorley brought the original idea to the table and co-wrote both songs.

The lyric itself is too straightforward to carry much emotional resonance despite Rucker’s best efforts. If we isolate the hook, “It Won’t be like this for long,” it carries no weight, and in context, it does little more than to tell us that times will change. In fact, half of the chorus is dedicated to pounding that message home, with the hook repeated at the beginning and end, and this line sandwiched in between, “This phase is gonna fly by.” It’s cliche, not worded elegantly, and forces any meaning to be supplied by the listener.

Left open to interpretation, it seems like the narrator is emotionally inept and put off about having to deal with his daughter’s antics presented in the scenarios in the first and second verses, before finally letting us know that he doesn’t mind and is trying to enjoy the time while he has it at the end of the song. It comes too late and doesn’t pack enough of a punch to supply the rest of the song with the weight it’s reaching for. If the intention of the song is to say, “cherish the memories while they last”–another cliche–it doesn’t exactly achieve that goal.

While all this is going on, the time line is yanked around like such a concept doesn’t exist. The second verse starts, “Four years later ’bout four thirty/She’s crawling in their bed/And when he drops her off at preschool/She’s clinging to his leg,” and continues with the preschool storyline. The time line is fast-forwarded four years to four thirty in the morning, then suddenly jumps to the father dropping the daughter off at preschool. The first half of the first line serves a purpose, but that business about her crawling into their bed is pointless.

Then, the third verse starts, “Someday soon, she’ll be a teenager/And at times, he’ll think she hates him/And he’ll walk her down the aisle/And raise her vail/But right now, she’s up and cryin’.” Three different scenarios are crammed into five lines–the first two scenarios serving as well-worn cliches–and nothing of any significance is said.

Rucker does a commendable job of mastering his performance, taking complete control of the song, and the production is pleasant, but neither do enough to make up for the lack of originality and insight.

Thumbs Down

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  1. [...] “Rucker does a commendable job of mastering his performance, taking complete control of the song, and the production is pleasant, but neither do enough to make up for the lack of originality and insight.” — review by Brady Vercher “I concur with Brady on the lack of originality. I genuinely enjoy Rucker’s voice & he brings something else to the table of the today’s country music. He makes generic & ordinary lyrics sound good.” — Tim “This song shows the true feelings of a parent for a young girl who one day turns into a young woman and is gone. Unless you have experienced that pain, you should not be commenting on it. Spoken from the (brokern) heart!” — Mom in GA [...]
  1. Mike
    October 13, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Isn’t the purpose of the “She’s crawling in their bed” line to show that the girl is attached to her parents? This point is further developed when the girl is clinging to her dad’s leg when she’s dropped off at school.

  2. Brady Vercher
    October 13, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    That’s partially why it’s pointless. The idea is fully developed with the image of the girl clinging to her father’s leg, making the girl crawling into bed superfluous filler.

  3. Billy
    October 13, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    I like the song, but I also liked “You’re Gonna Miss This.” It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s better than some stuff on the radio these days.

  4. Stormy
    October 13, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    But so it repeatedly stabbing yourself in the thigh with a plastic fork. That doesn’t make stabbing yourself in the thigh with a plastic fork especially enjoyable.

  5. Razor X
    October 13, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    “But so it repeatedly stabbing yourself in the thigh with a plastic fork. That doesn’t make stabbing yourself in the thigh with a plastic fork especially enjoyable”

    Well, if you had to choose between stabbing yourself with a plastic fork and listening to mainstream country radio, which would you choose? I say pass me a fork!

  6. Tim
    October 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I concur with Brady on the lack of originality. I genuinely enjoy Rucker’s voice & he brings something else to the table of the today’s country music. He makes generic & ordinary lyrics sound good.

    Keep up the great work guys – I am constantly checking the website & enjoy all that you do!

  7. Country fan Music
    October 14, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    I really like this song because i can relate to it seeings i have a 11yo daughter who i spent many nights awake when my wife and i brought her home with hig biliribbon counts and was afraid something would happen and my wife would always say that she wouldnt be like that for long and everthing would be ok. Everyone has there own reasons for liking songs. so to each there own

  8. DavidSongWriter
    October 20, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    I think it’s crazy to over analyize every song that is reviewed on here. It’s a nice song and agree with Country music fan that each to there own. Try writing a song that gets recorded by a major label artist. It’s very hard to do. I think it has a great melody like “I Miss My Friend” and nice lyrics and Darius give a nice vocal performance. He is a breath of fresh air.

  9. Brady Schuster
    October 21, 2008 at 6:17 am

    Ok, I so totally disagree! I am six days away from giving birth to my THIRD baby girl, Marley Faith. We have had a very touch-and-go pregnancy and were not sure we would make it to this day. We also have Molly Kate who will be four in December and Maggie Grace who turned one in September. Our life is crazy trying to manage little people and we have had lots of nights where Molly crawls in the bed at all hours as I am sure the others will when they get bigger. However, we would not change a moment as like the song says…”it won’t be like this for long” and we will one day have an empty house when our last baby girl goes off to college.

  10. Thomas
    October 21, 2008 at 9:37 am

    good luck in six days or so, brady schuster. you’re quite right, it takes at least one of them to relate to this song properly. still, there’s quite a few better ones out there on this particular subject.

  11. TAYERS
    October 24, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Darius Rucker could sing the phone book, and I’m hum along. I can’t help it.

  12. Bobby
    October 24, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Anyone think that the melody is almost a carbon copy of “I Miss My Friend”? Same guitar intro at least.

  13. MOM IN GA
    October 27, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Maybe those of you leaving stupid remarks have never had a child that you love so much that you would do anything for. This song shows the true feelings of a parent for a young girl who one day turns into a young woman and is gone. Unless you have experienced that pain, you should not be commenting on it.
    Spoken from the (brokern) heart!

  14. Drew
    October 27, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    It’s a fine, albeit unoriginal song. I prefer Trace’s “You’re Gonna Miss This” though.

  15. Jennifer Schiller
    November 5, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I absolutely love Darius’ new stuff, especially “it won’t be like this for long.” It made me cry…keep up the good work.
    You have the smoothest voice.
    I love your new stuff.

  16. sarah
    November 6, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    whoever the writer is about this song clear doesnt have a child nor has had a bond with a child. it shouldnt matter if theres five or twenty five sentence in one its the meaning behinde the song (retard) i know your entitled to your thoughts just as well as i am and i feel you’ve barked up the wrong tree. so what if it isnt perfect its a song its a meaning. if you’d like to talk about songs that make no sence then talk about “i kissed a girl” or some rap song. in other words talk trash about a song that doesnt have meaning behinde!!!

  17. Drew
    November 7, 2008 at 12:24 am

    With all due respect Sarah, I don’t think Brady’s intention had anything to do with what you’re stating. The song could be completely true and have a strong deeper meaning to it, but that doesn’t excuse it from being appropriately critiqued for being too generic and nondescript.

  18. Bobby
    November 8, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I agree. This song is too superficially written to leave much of an impact, even if you do know the back story.

  19. Rona
    November 17, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    This is country music, not American Literature.

    When one writes what one is thinking, through a moment in life, with intentions of producing a song, the purpose is to rid themselves of those thoughts, and at the same time, to share them with others that may be struggling through the same thoughts. Thats just the idea behind country music, to heal the writers heart.

    I have had the experience of raising three children, 20, 19 and 16. This repetition is directed to dads repetition of being nerved from the little ones actions, and other people are attempting to explain to him that these kind of actions (ie: crying and clinging) will not last forever. SAVOR THEM, NEXT WILL BE DIVORCE COURT, ALCOHOLISM, AND GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT!!!!

  20. iCF
    December 14, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    I much prefer this to “Don’t Think…”. The steel in the chorus and the vocals are great.

  21. Eric
    January 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    The song is a good song. THUMBS DOWN? Whoever wrote the article on this song wishes he or she had a tenth of the talent it takes to write songs. You have to be kidding me that the article is so negative. Freaking GET IN A GOOD MOOD!!!!!!!!

  22. Lauren
    January 26, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I really love the song. It really hits you when you have a little girl!!

  23. Noah Eaton
    February 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    While I agree that this song is short on originality, and has thematic similarities to not only Trace Adkin’s “You’re Gonna Miss This”, but also musical similarities to Darryl Worley’s “I Miss My Friend”……..I’d lean overall to giving this one a “Thumbs Up”.

    For one, with respect, Brady, I feel this review overlooked the premise of the song being how, in parenthood, we often take things for granted in the earlier years, where we just want all that high-pitched crying, dirty diaper-changing, sleep-deprivation, etc. to stop, and getting constant reassurance that “It won’t be like THIS for long!” and we take comfort in that notion……….but as time goes on and we feel that sense of saudade set in realizing how fast times goes by, to the point we almost miss even the most frustrating, demanding aspects of parenthood, suddenly the previous comforting aura of “It WON’T be like this for long!” evolves into one of sadness, knowing that someday we won’t enjoy those days where we take our children to the playground, or have birthday parties with all their friends at school around wearing colorful paper hats and playing fun silly games, or read stories to them by their bedside until they fall asleep, etc.

    I believe that, had most other singers performed this song instead of Darius, they wouldn’t have captured that saudade atmosphere and it would sound flat. Rucker accomplishes just that, and THAT is primarily why, in spite of its imperfections, this song nonetheless stands out and demonstrates that, sometimes, an emotionally-genuine singer can make an otherwise jejune track memorable. Rucker falls short on other tracks on “Learn To Live” in doing likewise (particularly “Alright” and “History In The Making”) but he certainly succeeds here, and so I believe it’s worthy enough of a “Thumbs Up”.

  24. Brady Vercher
    February 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for the thoughtful response, Noah. In the time since I wrote this review, my opinion on it hasn’t really changed. That’s not to say that it can’t be enjoyed, but I don’t think Darius’ performance elevates the lyric enough to make it worthwhile. Another Adkins cut gets to the same feeling that you’re suggesting without sounding flat: “Then They Do.”

    I’m not someone who thinks music has to be groundbreaking or super original to be worthwhile, but, in addition to the criticism in the review, this one just reeked of unoriginality/pandering to the point that I didn’t think it was worth the thumbs up.

  25. Noah Eaton
    February 18, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I understand, Brady.

    In contrast, with another one of the album’s ballads like “I Hope They Get To Me In Time”, I would lean “Thumbs Down” in that case, because I DON’T think Rucker captures the mood of the situation vocally in a convincing manner. In contrast with “It Won’t Be Like This For Long”, he sounds off the mark to me on that song. If you were pressed up against the steering wheel with a broken arm, wouldn’t your voice have a strained desperation to it? In that instance I think not only is originality bereft, but so is emotional connect…….even while many will still eat this up if it is issued as a subsequent single because it blatantly taps into that “My loved one got critically injured by a drunk driver!” kind of universality, which in itself hits the soft spot in us all.

    The difference between this track and a track like “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” is that authenticity in performance, and Rucker accomplishes that in the former, but doesn’t do so in the latter. Thus why, in spite of the lack of originality in both, I’m inclined to lean “Thumbs Up” with the former and “Thumbs Down” with the latter.

  26. Woody
    March 17, 2009 at 9:24 am

    for real who ever wrote all that is retarded i am sure you are just i no talent loser critiquing ever lil thing to make you look better in you own eyes. for real get a life. its a hart felt song that put my mother in tears.

  27. Aaron
    March 24, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I understand the critique of the song by Brady, but I must say, as the father of 5 girls, this song hits me right in the heart, time and again.
    It might be simplistic and with superfluous lyrics, but when I’m exhausted and the 3 year old is still creeping in to our bed, I hear Darius’ voice in my head “it won’t be like this for long” and I just smile and stroke her hair.

  28. Slevin Kelevra
    April 7, 2009 at 5:45 am

    I’m sorry Mr. Vercher, but you’re either a dumb ass, or racist. Your argument is one of the worst I’ve ever heard. You saying that the recurring theme between Trace Adkins’ “You’re Gonna Miss This” and Rucker’s “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” is grounds for a poor song has made me realize that you must be uneducated or dense-minded. Where else have we heard recurring themes? Don’t have to think too hard on that one. You have in love songs, out of love songs, getting drunk songs, looking back songs(Adkins would fall in that category), forever love songs, hate songs. I think the point is made. Recurring themes is a part of music. If it sells then obviously it was right. Take arguably the greatest country writer ever George Strait and look at his 50 number ones. What’s the main theme in half his songs? Being in love. The other half? Pain of losing love. I mean if you’re gonna criticize Darius for taking a theme from Trace, then you better say that “You’re Gonna Miss This” sucks because it was a recurring theme of Chesney’s “There Goes my Life”. You’re argument about the fast-forwarded story line sucks as well. Music isn’t always supposed to be about perfect synchronization with storytelling. That’s why it’s called music, so everyone can get something else out of it. By the way, another great song with your so-called crappy song tendencies of sped up storylines, Trace Adkins “You’re Gonna Miss This”! Wierd! It’s a damn song you idiot! If you think you can write a song better than Darius Rucker, and have that smooth, calming and sensual feeling of his voice, then I will be waiting for your installment. However, I’m sure your musical talent goes only so far as hearing music for less than what it’s worth. I’m sorry, but if your musical taste involves non-recurring themes and perfect stories and story lines in every song, then it must leave a bitter after flavor in your mouth!

  29. jennystonedeaf
    April 7, 2009 at 8:45 am

    why is it right now, everytime someone criticize black person being called racist? I just don’t get it….

  30. jennystonedeaf
    April 7, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Right now, i guess i would be called racist for questioning that.. huh

  31. CD Powell
    June 1, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I loved the song. If you never had a child you could not understsnd the pain of letting go on both sides. I have two daughters and their first days at school were hard but when they left home for college it was worse.

    When you drive off and leave them and all their stuff that is when reality really sets in and you know that they are their own person. That is when a part of you is torn out. I cry when I hear the song. It brings back a lot of memories.

    As I said before. I love the song.

  32. Steve Harvey
    July 6, 2009 at 1:43 am

    Mr/Ms Kelevra, your argument sort of fell apart there when you claimed George Strait was the best country writer of all time. Strait has composed almost none of the songs he’s recorded. Credit Jim Lauderdale et al for his hit songs…

  33. Slevin Kelevra
    July 25, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Thank you Mr. Harvey for calling out my argument about George Strait. However, I first claimed nothing about him, and secondly, that was a small part of my argument. I said he was “arguably the greatest” meaning you can argue that he was the greatest. Which you have chosen to do. No concrete statement was made there. And I have decided to defend my argument even if a small fact was maybe slightly taken the wrong way. You agree that Strait has written some of his music. Yet you fail to note my wording in your argument. I never mentioned that what he recorded he wrote. I simply mentioned some songs he recorded. He has written some very good songs including “Living For the Night” and “Troubador” I believe, however, I did not check for sure. If you take out those few words of my argument and replace them with whatever you think is necessary, then apparently you have nothing to argue about. Lastly,I have decided to discredit you. If you really do want to argue then check your facts as well, please. Jim Lauderdale wrote only one of his 50 number one songs in the 2-cd compilation. That song was “We Really Shouldn’t be Doing This.” Maybe you could’ve mentioned Dean Dillon or possibly Aaron Baker. Then your argument could be looked at in a more serious manner. However, you have failed to support your argument with any facts, but I have shown your argument to be false. If you want to back up your argument feel free. Unfortunately, for you, my argument still stands credibly.

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