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They're both fantastic songs, but I feel like DFTRM is a more personal song (at least for me, anyway). I listened to it like crazy when I was homesick at college. I don't 't get that same feeling of comfort with TNBLGO.
Like, when I hear DFTRM, I'm like "this is exactly how I feel when I'm away from people I love," but when I hear TNBLGO, I just don't have that same connection. JMO, of course.
I missed this poll - but I would have voted for DFTRM
(Sorry, AAG, but I couldn't vote against Morg Stapleton's first number one!)
That said - "The Night Before Life Goes On" is a pretty good song. Mobley and Thrasher are absolute Nashville heavyweights, and Jimmy Olander is a former member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and since then, Diamond Rio. This was one of Carrie's relatively less usual decisions to pick an album song connected with the preceding era of Mainstream Country, in preference to the "new era" songwriters she more typically associates with. I would suggest a couple of reasons, though, why she may not have preferred it as a single. From "Some Hearts", her team did promote "Wasted" as a single - and "Wasted" is also stylistically more typical of the preceding era, but was co-written by Hillary 'Lindsey, who is herself a writer whose rise coincided with Carrie;s era, and whom Carrie much admires. (The second reason, I'd suggest, may be lyrical - although both songs deal with separation, TNBLGO references a girl going to Louisiana State University - which would, presumably, have less personal resonance for Carrie than the more general "away from home" feeling of DFTRM
I loved DFTRM when I heard Morgane Hayes (as she was then) singing it on MySpace. (That was before I knew about Carrie, as I rarely listened to Mainstream radio, and SH was not released here until the CR era when both albums were bundled out together. I'm afraid Simon Fuller, who has other franchises to watch, was in no hurry to introduce Carrie to his compatriots!)
Although DFTRM is arguably less forcefully dramatic than JTTW and BHC (which "sandwiched" it as Country single releases), I still see it as one of the three songs that established Carrie as a leader of the female "new wave" in Mainstream Country. All three strike me as primarily verse and story-line driven, and all explore distinct musical styles. DFTRM has a definite Roots feel to the music, and it addresses another significant side of "life issues" - in this case, the difficulties, both emotional and financial, of surviving alone, away from home. (The contrast between songs of this type and the more frequently charted "feel good" party songs is one of the still unresolved issues facing Mainstream radio) This song is also interesting because of its faith references - Carrie's more recent "inspirational" songs are sometimes automatically taken as Christian, while, in fact, they are more generally spiritual, with non-specific references to God that could apply to many Faiths. Only in this era, with JTTW, and, less explicitly, this song's reference to the Bible, did Carrie specifically identify a Christian context.
In many ways, although she didn't write it, I take this song choice as one that was rather personal to Carrie - and in that sense, I'd compare it with the very personal closing song, IAICA.