The documentary More Life came out earlier this year. It chronicles Randy Travis’ rise to fame, his life, the stroke that nearly killed him, and his recovery. For fans of the country music icon, it’s a way to get to know the man behind the music a little better. For those involved, it was a way to celebrate a close friend and certified legend.
Shaun Silva and his crew started working on More Life over a decade ago. At the time, they wanted it to be a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Randy Travis’ debut album Storms of Life. However, Randy had his stroke shortly after they wrapped the initial production. As a result, the documentary changed shape into what it is today.
During the final two installments of the film, we see Randy Travis and his wife Mary talk about the song “More Life” and we see why it was such a fitting title for the documentary. Before we get into that, though, let’s look at the song and why Randy decided to record it.
Randy Travis included “More Life” on his 2011 duets album Anniversary Celebration. Co-penned by Mike Reid and Rory Burke, the song talks about a man on his deathbed who just wants a little more life to live. According to Songfacts, Randy was captivated the first time he heard it.
“I remember the first time I heard [Reid] doing the demo,” Travis said. “I remember listening to it and wanting to record it right then and there.” Then, the country icon said, “I went back and listened to it over and over, I don’t know how many times. His writing is just that good.”
About the emotional impact of the song, Randy Travis said, “It made me look at myself. I’ve been guilty in years past of doing so much work and not taking any time to spend around the people that I love. I also have watched other people do the same thing. So, those emotions came through. The first time I heard [‘More Life’], I teared up, to be honest with you.”
Randy and Mary Travis on the Power of “More Life”
When talking about the song in the documentary, Randy Travis said, “When you come to be fifty-plus years old, let’s face it you’ve had friends who have passed away. ‘More Life’ talks about a guy who has basically done nothing but chase the dollar his whole life and here he is, at this point in life. The nurse comes in with something for the pain and said ‘Is there anything more you need?’ He said ‘Yeah, more life, more time, more faith, and presence of mind to breathe deeper, love stronger, and stay in the moment one moment longer.’ To me, that’s just incredibly wonderful writing.”
Randy Travis went on to say, “If that song doesn’t touch you, you’re unreachable.”
Of course, Randy said those things before he had his stroke. After that happened, the song hit a little closer to home for Mary Travis. About the song, Mary said, “It became a theme song for me in the hospital. Just more life.”