Music

Tanya Tucker's 'Bring My Flowers Now': The Story Behind the Song

A week before the Aug. 23 release of her first album in 17 years, While I'm Livin', Tanya Tucker shared one last single, "Bring My Flowers Now."

Written by Tucker, Brandi Carlile and Tim and Phil Hanseroth, the song updates a couple of classics: The Carter Family's "Give Me the Roses While I Live" and Flatt & Scruggs' "Give Me Flowers While I'm Living." Each song finds an aging or ailing narrator insisting that loved ones don't wait until the funeral to break out rosy words and lush flower arrangements. It's down-home common sense about appreciating our elders and the positive influences in our lives.

The song, which won Tucker her first Grammy Award (for Best Country Song), was written while Tucker was recording her critically-acclaimed album While I'm Livin', produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings.

"Brandi came into the control room and said, 'Tanya, let's try and write that song you've been writing for the last 30 years.' " Tucker said during her recent show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium (quote via The Tennesseean.)

Read More: Tanya Tucker Says She Dyed Her Hair Pink for a Friend Battling Cancer

The song represents a career renaissance for the country legend, who reflected on her career during her 2020 Grammy acceptance speech.

"No matter how young or old you are, never stop following your dreams," Tucker said.

If anyone gives the Texas-born legend her due on this side of eternity, it's co-producers Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings. Beyond this chance for them to help Tucker celebrate the musical history all three love, the album captures the take-no-prisoners attitude of one of country music's greatest independent spirits and creative forces.

"Bring My Flowers Now" Lyrics:

Bring my flowers now, while I'm living
I won't need your love when I'm gone
Don't spend time, tears, or money
On my old breathless body
If your heart is in them flowers, bring 'em on

All the miles cast a long shadow
I'd take a couple back if I could
I'd have learned to play guitar
Tell my daddy more I loved him
But I believe, for the most part, I done good

There's always sunrise and rainbows and babies
And the little things I cherish on my way
Even though one day
They'll bury me and Jesse Ray
I just know we're gonna ride again someday

Bring my flowers now, while I'm living
I won't need your love when I'm gone
Don't spend time, tears, or money
On my ol' breathless body
Well, if your heart is in them flowers, bring 'em on

The days are long but the years are lightning
They're bright and they will never strike again
I wish I'd been a better friend
A better daughter to my mother
There's no going back when your back's against the wind

So if you got love, then you're sittin' on a gold mine
And you can't take it with you when you go
So don't wait to help your sister
Forgive your brother and your neighbor
We all think we've got the time until we don't

Bring my flowers now, while I'm living
I won't need your love when I'm gone
Don't spend time, tears, or money
On my old breathless body
If your heart is in them flowers, bring 'em on
If your heart is in them flowers, bring 'em on

This article was originally published in August of 2019. 

Now Watch: Things You Didn't Know About George Jones

recommended for you

Tanya Tucker's 'Bring My Flowers Now': The Story Behind the Song