Joey + Rory, “To Say Goodbye”

Joey RoryIn lesser hands, “To Say Goodbye” could have been hopelessly maudlin.  But Joey + Rory deliver a heavy message with a light touch, without any bells and whistles in the production or the vocal.  The end result is that the stories of a woman who loses her husband in a plane crash and of a man who tends to his elderly wife who has lost her memory don’t focus on the tragedy. Rather, there’s an emphasis on the quiet emptiness left in the wake of these events.

Both characters have already accepted their difficult circumstances and are beyond the wild pangs of grief. They’ve moved on to simple regret, and are now mourning that they don’t have one more chance to express their love and ongoing devotion to their partner who can no longer receive it.  By going the route of understatement, the record leaves us with a far more potent impact that lingers after the last note has played.

Written by Rory Feek, Joey Matin, and Jamie Teachenor

Grade: A

Listen: To Say Goodbye


  1. Agree with you assessment of the song. In the first story, I wonder if the writers had the 9/11 plane crash victims in mind since the cd was released in ’08 and the lyrics speak of the crash happening 7 years ago. I think Joey and Rory’s debut cd “The Life of a Song” is very impressive.

    Rory Lee Feek co-wrote Collin Raye’s “Someone You Used to Know”, Blake Shelton’s “Some Beach”, Catherine Britt’s “Upside of Being Down” and Blaine Larsen’s “How Do You Get That Lonely”. The last song I think also avoided being hopelessly maudlin.

    My wife and I went to see Feek and fellow songwriters Tim Johnson, Jamie Teachenor and Helen Darling at the Bluebird Cafe in March of ’07. One of the “guest” performers that evening was Joey Martin.

  2. Joey, Rory and Jamie Teachenor wrote the song, not PJM and RLH (who wrote the title track. Other than that bit of info, I agree w/the review.

    Also, the first verse WAS about 9/11.

  3. My only real issue with this song (which I love, btw), is that it’s too short. It feels like it’s going to have a traditional three-verse structure, and then it just stops after the second. I just end up feeling a bit short-changed.

  4. Very nice. I agree that the performance and arrangement keep it from being too sappy. I never could get into “How Do You Get That Lonely,” though.

  5. I’m mixed about “How Do You Get ?That Lonely.” While, in the end, it’s not a song that I’m really drawn to, there’s a truth to it that I admire about it. It’s a little overblown, but I suppose the subject matter calls for it…and it’s not something that people sing about much these days. So, I kind of like it and I kind of don’t.

    As for this song, it’s, admittedly, my least favorite on the album, but Joey’s performance knocks it out of the park.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.