There are only so many words and casual phrases in the English language, but a great song can challenge the way we think about the finality of the tools we are given. Sometimes, if it’s smart enough, it can even unfold new meanings within repeated listens or flip a cliché on its head. “All the Beds I’ve Made,” a track from the Nashville-based songwriter Caroline Spence, does both.
Appearing on the Secret Garden EP, her forthcoming collection of B-sides from March’s Spades and Roses, “All the Beds I’ve Made” thinks about the multi-faceted meaning of this phrase. It’s a metaphor we all know — making our own beds and lying in them — but it’s a physical act, too — tucking in the sheets to cover the multitude of sins that exist beneath those cotton fibers and pulling the blankets over one too many mistakes. It’s the mornings we’ve woken up in a bed not our own, and it’s the dark roads of our own making, with the streetlights smashed at our own hand.
“There’s no wrong side to get up on,” she sings, her vocals crystalline and striking to the core. “No ghost keeping me awake. Honey, this love’s gonna make up for all the beds I’ve made.” Spence uses carefully curated language to get across an entire backstory: Rough roads and mistakes have led her here, to a place of romantic contentment, and that’s all part of a story. She’s made her bed, but she’s not trying to smooth out the wrinkles, either. Life is beautiful, but it’s messy, too.
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