“Over the last few years I’ve been obsessing over story songs and short stories, in general,” says Americana musician Shay Martin Lovette. “In my opinion, they are the hardest songs to write because you have to compress a story that would fill up a notebook into just a few minutes of melody and rhyme.”
Such a new-found fascination fuels his latest song called “For Rose Marie,” in which he unravels “the story of a troubled woman who has led an arduous life but has somehow managed to maintain a sense of optimism throughout,” Lovette tells American Songwriter. Rose Marie is “a wild spirit with a knack for party tricks, storytelling, and making close friends out of strangers. At the end of the song, she mysteriously vanishes, leaving the town to wonder if she’s found what she’s been seeking: the meaning of life and what comes after.”
Musically, Lovette turned to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska album, as well as the work of Willis Alan Ramsey and Townes Van Zandt, for inspiration─all the while digging deeper into author Ron Rash’s vast collection of short stories. “I aimed to capture the darkness and beauty of [the song] and wanted every word to carry the weight of her story,” he says.