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  • Gary @ BootsofUK

‘How Do I Live’ by Leann Rimes review

Originally intended to be the voice of the song for the film 'Con Air' in 1997, Leann Rimes was replaced by Trisha Yearwood who also released the song after her rendition wasn't deemed believable and was too pop for the Touchstone Pictures.


The song was written by Diane Warren and is widely regarded to be a romantic song being sung either to or about a partner.



"How do I get through one night without you

If I had to live without you

What kinda life would that be

Oh I, I need you in my arms, need you to hold

You're my world, my heart, my soul"


The first verse poses the question of being able to live without someone suggesting a reliance on them. This is somewhat interesting and perhaps telling of the time, because nowadays there is much talk of freedom, and independence. It's easy to see how it's referencing a loved one, however imagine if this other person was just a different form of yourself, almost like the Ying and the Yang; we cannot truly live if we're not fully there.


Being in a persons arms shows such vulnerability and appreciation for each other, and perhaps this reference to our inner confidence. We need to be able to hold and carry ourselves each day, and this lyric could just as easily be a spiritual reference, being in the embrace with oneself or one's spirituality. In this ever growing self indulgent generation, "you're my world, my heart, my soul" could be the mantra cited in the mirror each morning to get oneself up.


"If you ever leave

Well, baby you would take away everything

Good in my life

And tell me now"


This lyric instead of referring to someone external, could come to mean that if we ever lose ourselves, our life will be taken away; perhaps ahead of its time with social media causing many to lose themselves in searching for perfection and creating a false image of themselves.


"How do I live without you?

I want to know

How do I breathe without you?

If you ever go

How do I ever, ever survive

How do I, how do I, oh how do I live"


The chorus is perhaps asking a rhetorical question here, because what is living if you're not enjoying yourself and being present in the moment? What quality of life are you leading? This lyric also touches on grief management, how to handle life without someone else, the use of repetition really capturing the quandary and shock experienced.


"Without you

There'd be no sun in my sky

There would be no love in my life

There'd be no world left for me"


This verse is very descriptive, and is easy to see from this how music and lyrics can be used as therapy to help remind us to connect to our senses, our surroundings, helping bridging us back to reality. It could also be perceived that this other person (be that externally, or internally) is the sun, the positivity personified, and helps keeps themselves balanced.


"And I, well baby, I don't know what I would do

I'd be lost if I lost you"


Clearly being lost is a difficult time and comes with a lot of uncertainty, but the same can be said for life itself. It shows how much as humankind we rely on each other, yet it begs the question how can so many people be at each others throats, and even cite hatred comments online?


"If you ever leave

Well, baby you would take away everything

Real in my life

And tell me now"


This verse is perhaps evident of our real and ever present connections with each other. These connections are real and genuine, not necessarily the same as those experienced online. If we are to lose our grounding then we risk spiraling. As the pandemic demonstrated we, as humanity, are not used to being and feeling isolated. We are collaborative beings and that is how (generally) the best work is made.



The song then returns to the chorus, which is a great link to feeling lost, as inevitably there are so many questions as the chorus portrays.


"Please tell me baby how do I go on"


This lyric shows the despair and desperation of trying to figure out how to "go on" after experiencing a loss, be that a loved one, or of ourselves. Yet this is also perhaps the greatest indication to trust our intuition, believe in ourselves and everything will turn out ok.


"If you ever leave

Well, baby you would take away everything

Need you with me

Baby don't you know that you're everything

Good in my life"


Returning to this lyric about being left behind, it is perhaps a message to take away from the song that whilst people will come and go, we will always feel that we need someone with us, whether that's physically or spiritually. We must come to realise though that people become our crutch, our ability to validate ourselves, but the greatest validity is being in tune with oneself; know who and what you are and what direction you want to go down in life. Discovering our purpose so more people can experience the "good in my [their] life".


The song finishes by returning to the chorus, leaving us with the simple, yet complex question 'How do I ...?' In life, there is no set way of going about things; sure we're bound by the governance of laws, but much of life we still need to figure out, and constantly adapt to, whether that's love life, or more broader topics such as climate change.


All in all, this classic promotes the feeling of love, of harmony, a theme we should carry forth amongst the world. Next time you hear it on the radio or on the dance floor remember to share the love, give a smile to someone who might otherwise be having it tough.



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