Tanya Tucker's new song about death took 40 years to make

Album cover for 'While I'm Livin'' by Tanya Tucker. Produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings.
Album cover for "While I'm Livin'" by Tanya Tucker. Produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings. | Fantasy Records

Tanya Tucker's new song, "Bring My Flowers Now," reminds us to make the most of the important things in life before we're gone.

"Bring my flowers now, while I'm living / I won't need your love when I'm gone / Don't spend time, tears, or money / On my old breathless body / If your heart is in them flowers, bring 'em on," Tucker sings in the chorus.

The verses include many memorable lines, such as, "There's always sunrise and rainbows and babies / And the little things I cherish on my way," "The days are long, but the years are lightning / They're bright and they will never strike again," and "So don't wait to help your sister / Forgive your brother and your neighbor / We all think we've got the time until we don't."

Accompanied only by a piano, Tucker's vocal talents feature prominently in the song.

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Tucker had her first hit song, "Delta Dawn," when she was only 13. Now 60, her new album reflects a seasoned traveler.

"Bring My Flowers Now" is Tucker's last song on her new album, While I'm Livin, produced by Shooter Jennings and Brandi Carlile and released by Fantasy Records on Aug. 23.

Tucker fans have waited a long time for new music. Her previous album of new material, Tanya, was in 2002, 17 years ago.

In an interview with Billboard, Tucker explained that the idea for the album came from Carlile and twin brother songwriters Tim and Phil Hanseroth. All big Tucker fans, they carefully studied her life and works to write six of the album's 10 songs.

For "Bring My Flowers Now," Tucker says she wrote the chorus 40 years ago but didn't have any verses to go with it. On the last day of recording, Carlile suggested they finish the song. Carlile, a three-time Grammy winner, helped Tucker flesh out the verses and they recorded it the same day.

In an NPR interview, she said, "It was a song that I've had an idea for ... I'm thinking about 40 years maybe. It took us about 20 minutes to write it. ... And so I say, 'Well, it took me 40 years and 20 minutes to write the song.'"

Speaking with Billboard, Tucker credited Carlile for what she considers the best line in the song, "We all think we got the time until we don't."

"It takes some unexpected process or people, or catalyst or muse, to come in and finish that for me," she explained.

Tucker wasn't sure she would do the album at first, but "Shooter talked me into it and I’m glad he did."

The album includes a song first sung by Shooter Jennings' father, Waylon Jennings, and David Lynn Jones in 1987, "High Ridin' Heroes."

Tucker told NPR that she credited God for her gift. 

"I just kind of let go, let God," she said. "That's the name I choose to call my higher power and I let him rock through me because the one thing I do know after all these years is that I'm not doing it by myself. It's coming through me. And there's a reason for that. I don't know what it is, but I just know that it is."

Tucker will be on tour starting Sept. 11 in Nashville.

Listen to "Bring My Flowers Now" below:

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