Song Lyric Sunday — John Raitt’s Kid

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim is going with a theme suggested by Paula Light of Light Motifs II. The challenge is to find songs from artists who have famous musician parents. I am going with Bonnie Raitt. Bonnie’s father was the celebrated Broadway singer John Raitt (Carousel, Oklahoma!, The Pajama Game). Her mother was the accomplished pianist/singer Marge Goddard. The Bonnie Raitt song I am featuring is “Nick of Time.”

Bonnie Raitt is an American blues singer and guitarist. “Nick of Time” was the third single from her 10th solo album of the same name. The single was released in May 1990 and was a Top 10 Adult Contemporary hit. It also won Raitt a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

The album, Nick of Time, was a reflection on love and aging after enduring a personal and professional slump. She was dropped from her record label, was shattered by a failed romance, and had become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Fast approaching 40, she decided it was time to turn her life around and got clean and sober — just in the nick of time. Not only did the album revive her career, but it was also her first #1 hit on the Albums chart and earned three Grammy awards, including Album of the Year.

In an interview, Raitt said that the midtempo ballad “came from a part of me that hadn’t yet seen the light of day. I wanted to dig deep and honor the changes in my life. Writing it gave me a sense of confidence and self-awareness that helped me break through some stifling self-doubt. While writing the song, instead of comparing myself to greats like Jackson Browne and Randy Newman and then giving up, I was just writing for myself, as a gift for the miracle that had happened.”

The song title, Raitt said, had a double-edged meaning. ‘Nick,’ as in just in the nick of time, and also the wear and tear of time and the nicks it leaves on the body and the spirit.”

The first verse (“A friend of mine, she cries at night…”) was taken from a conversation she had with a heartbroken friend who was nearing middle age and desperately wanting a baby.

The second verse (“I see my folks, they’re getting old…”) was inspired by observing her elderly father sleeping in the car during a road trip. She recalled, “In his vulnerable state I could see he was getting older and could really feel what it was like for a body to age. This whole idea of time and it being more precious as you age, I realized this would be what I’d write about.”

The third verse (“You came along and showed me…”) pulled Raitt back from the edge of the abyss when love came to the rescue. But, she said, it wasn’t about anyone in particular. “It was about a bigger, more universal love.”

Here are the lyrics to “Nick of Time.”

A friend of mine she cries at night
And she calls me on the phone
Sees babies everywhere she goes
And she wants one of her own
She's waited long enough she says
And still she can't decide
Pretty soon she'll have to choose
And it tears her up inside
She's scared
Scared she'll run out of time

I see my folks, they're getting old
And I watch their bodies change
I know they see the same in me
And it makes us both feel strange
No matter how you tell yourself
It's what we all go through
Those eyes are pretty hard to take
When they're staring back at you, oh

Scared to run out of time

When did the choices get so hard?
With so much more at stake
Life gets mighty precious
When there's less of it to waste

Scared to run out of time

Just when I thought I'd had enough
And all my tears were shed
No promise left unbroken
There were no painful words unsaid
You came along and showed me
How to leave it all behind
You opened up my heart again
And then much to my surprise

I found love, baby
Love in the nick of time
(Love in the nick of time)

I found love, darling
Love in the nick of time
(Love in the nick of time)

I found love, baby
Love in the nick of time
Ooh ooh ooh ooh yeah baby
Oh oh oh found love
In the nick of time
Thought I'd give it up
Give enough babe oh babe

11 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — John Raitt’s Kid

  1. donmatthewspoetry November 6, 2022 / 4:30 am

    Nice to see a real Bonnie on the screen Fan. Must have forgot her guitar. Maybe in for repair?

    Whatever my friend, I enjoyed it. Guitar or no guitar.

    Maybe before she learnt guitar?……..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor November 6, 2022 / 6:16 am

    I did see Carousel and Oklahoma, but I was not familiar with John Raitt. I am very aware of Bonnie Raitt, and this is a lovely song. I enjoyed your post, because I learned a lot from reading it, Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen November 6, 2022 / 10:28 am

    I hadn’t known her parents were musicians; makes sense, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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