The new documentary The Return of Tanya Tucker – Featuring Brandi Carlile opens tonight in New York and Los Angeles. The film will go to theaters across the country in November. To mark the occasion, Tucker released an original song from the documentary.
“Ready as I’ll Never Be” sees Tanya Tucker looking back on her decades-long career while keeping a keen eye on the future. She sings about those in the music world who accepted her as a young musician and helped her over the years. Later in the song, Tucker talks about losing those who mentored her and the impact it has on her.
In the opening verse, Tanya Tucker sings, “All you outlaws and the Opry queens / That wrapped those golden arms around the baby of the family / To stand beside you then / Was more than enough. / I always was and always will be looking up.”
In the chorus, she gets a little more somber. “I tell the same old stories / Y’all get your wings / And I get better every time I kiss a weathered cheek / and watch them doves fly / sooner than me. / I guess I’m ready or as ready as I’ll never be.”
Tanya Tucker co-penned the song with Brandi Carlile. The song plays as the credits roll at the end of the documentary.
Brandi Carlile on Writing with Tanya Tucker
Earlier this week, Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile appeared on Today to talk about the documentary. During their chat, one of the hosts asked Carlile about her favorite song from Tucker’s impressive catalog.
“Oh my goodness, that’s really hard to say,” she replied. “I actually think it’s the newest one. I think it’s called ‘Ready as I’ll Never Be.’”
“That’s my favorite Tanya song and Tanya wrote that song,” she said, but Tucker disagreed. “I didn’t write that song by myself,” she countered. Carlile argued that Tucker did write it alone.
“She’s a reluctant writer,” Carlile said of Tucker. “When she writes a song, she writes a song with her wisdom. Then, you just kind of come in and sculpt it. You put things that she says in place. The next thing you know, you’ve got this really powerful sentiment.”
So, it seems like Tanya Tucker had all of the right words and Brandi Carlile helped her put them in place. This harkens back to the way Tucker’s Grammy-winning 2019 album While I’m Livin’ came to be. Carlile approached her with the idea of writing an album based on her life.
So, Tanya Tucker sat with Brandi Carlile and discussed her long road. Carlile and a handful of other writers worked together to turn those stories into songs. This process is the heart of the documentary.