Kenny Chesney – Life on a Rock – Track by Track Dissection


Track Listing for “Life on a Rock”

  1. Pirate Flag
  2. When I See This Bar
  3. Spread the Love featuring the Wailers and Elan
  4. Lindy
  5. Coconut Tree with Willie Nelson
  6. It’s That Time of Day
  7. Life on a Rock
  8. Marley
  9. Must Be Something I Missed
  10. Happy on the Hey Now (A Song for Kristi)

Pirate Flag:

On an album which Kenny has described as his most self-reflective to date, “Pirate Flag” is easily the least personal song on the album.  That being said, it fits with both today’s country radio and his past summery anthems.  The song is dominated by a chorus which boasts that he is leaving his fast past life and disappearing to the islands.  Not much to the lyrics, but catchy nonetheless.  It is currently sitting at #5 on the Mediabase Country Charts, thus, proving to be yet another successful radio single.  I suspect this song will be a sing-a-long favorite on the upcoming No Shoes Nation Tour in the Summer of 2013. 

When I See This Bar:

I was able to attend the Album Release Party for “Life on a Rock” (see: and Kenny stated that this was his favorite song on the new album.  He said the song is very reflective of his own life because it reminds him of the people he shared some of the best times of his life.  Everyone has a place that reminds them of a special time in their life and this is his way to bring about that nostalgic feeling.  The instruments, as all the songs on this album, give it that island flavor that Kenny is so well known for.  I could easily see this being released as a radio single in the future. 

Spread the Love:

The Wailers are featured on this song and actually were the ones who wrote the music for it.  They then sent it to Kenny and asked him to write his own lyrics for it.  I, personally, think the song is fantastic.  The fact that Kenny steps out of his comfort zone and takes a reggae approach, similar to his past hit, “Everybody Wants to go to Heaven”, makes it very authentic to him as a huge fan of Bob Marley, The Wailers, and the islands.  When listening to this island groove, it immediately transports me to Jamaica.  However, this song may not appeal to those traditional country music fans who do like to the genre bending that some artists try.  I personally think music should not be genre restricted and commend Kenny and Wailers for this fantastic collaboration. 


This is a strikingly beautiful song about a real man that used to leave on the island of St. John’s.  Kenny stated that he wrote the lyrics to this song after he had witnessed Lindy, a homeless man, playing the paino by himself at a Church on the island.  Kenny wrote it without a guitar or any music to it.  He has stated that he wrote a lot of the songs on the album without expecting anyone else to ever hear them, that they were part of a “journal that rhymed”.  This journal entry describes a happy, free soul who wandered around the island of St. John. 

Coconut Tree:

Willie Nelson adds his one of a kind voice to a fun song with a few clever play on words.  The song has a simple message, if they had their way they would disappear from all the stress of the real world and hang out on an island (i.e. a coconut tree).  The trading back and forth of the lines of the song by Kenny and Willie create a fun harmonization.  The is the latest in the growing list of collaborations between the two, who have obviously formed a respected relationship. 

It’s That Time of Day:

This is song that is obviously inspired by one of Kenny’s favorite places on earth, Jost Van Dyke as the line “adios to Jost” is reiterated numerous times in the song.  It is a relaxed tune that really depicts a beautiful island scene in the listener’s head.  He sings of a beautiful sunset that occurs at the end of a glorious day spent with his friends at sea.  It’s a song that is very reminiscent of the songs on a former Chesney album, “Lucky Old Sun”.  And why not sing about Jost Van Dyke?  I visited there back in October and it truly is one of the most spectacular places on earth.  This song makes me immediately want to return. 

Life on a Rock:

This song is the island version of “I’m a Small Town” from his last album.  Its main message is how close everyone that actually lives on an island are.  They know everyone’s business, date each other and party together.  It is the song which incorporates the electric guitar rifts that have been so common on many of his former songs.  It is set up as a typic country radio song and is less intimate the other selections. 


Another beautiful song which Kenny sings about how he escapes from the road, radio, and big stadiums.  He relaxes on his boat, reads Hemmingway’s “Old Man on the Sea”, drinks his rum, and listens to Bob Marley.  He sings the song not merely just trying to escape his life, but as being very appreciative of what his music career has given him and that he is also able to relax fully in his own way.  The acoustic guitar flows and the steel drums strike with perfection while Kenny sings the song with purpose and honesty.  A real stand-out on the album. 

Must Be Something I Missed:

This is a song he wrote with Mac McAnnally at a time where Kenny was in a frustrated state of mind.  He said Mac created the sheet music and they put together the song over the phone.  It’s got a fast paced, bluesy feel to it as he sings about hoping that he did not miss something in life as he lives his hectic life.  The lyrics serve as the inner thoughts of a stressed out man.  A unique take on a familiar topic. 

Happy on the Hey Now (A Song for Kristi):

This song is an emotional dedication for a friend of his who has passed away.  Instead of taking a sad approach on the death of a loved one, he takes the opposite approach.  He sings of celebrating her life, finding strength in her, and making sure she never dies by keeping her memory alive.  The line “still I’m a strong believer that I will see you again” gives hope to anyone who has lost someone very dear and close to them in their life.  In his friend’s Kristi’s passing, he makes sure that he will remember her “living life in the moment, happy on the hey now”.  It is a beautiful dedication and how we should be so lucky to remember our loved ones when they pass.  And the song is perfectly placed to end an album full of so many personal songs. 

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