It's a marvelous feeling when someone says 'I want to do this song of yours' because they've connected to it. That's what I'm after.
Mary Chapin Carpenter
There's timing. And then there's also certain people at the record company who worked incredibly hard and were incredibly enthusiastic about what I was doing.
I don't really remember my folks singing to us, but they read to us.
So I think that if I do feel more freedom right now in my career, it's not so much because I have less at stake but more a sense that I've learned more.
It's like the code of living by yourself. People who are single know what I'm talking about. You eat standing up, reading the paper. Or you say to yourself, this isn't even cutting it, I'm taking a TV dinner and I'm getting in bed here.
I'm a liberal arts junkie.
I've never... when I was having songs on the airwaves, and that sort of thing, I never felt a sense of pressure anywhere except from myself, to do things the way I wanted to do them; to feel authentic; to feel like I was presenting my true self to the world.
I think that every new record is a chance to... I think what it is for me is my heart and soul at that moment in time... I've always felt that just being able to make a record is a privilege.
Emmy Lou Harris introduced me to the work of the Vietnam Veterans of America foundation and the Campaign for a Land Mine Free World.
About age ten, we moved from the place where I was born, moved overseas.
It's a pretty frantic world that we live in.
I was a liberal arts junkie and I figured, well, I'll go work for somebody somewhere. All I knew was that I was going to have to come home and figure it out.
As far as feeling freedom in my career now versus five years ago... I think if I feel any more free it's simply because of the experiences that I've had, and the wisdom I've accumulated from that time.
My sisters and I were fortunate to travel through Asia and Europe at very young ages. We confronted extraordinary beauty in Athens and unspeakable poverty in India.
I kept thinking, I went to college and I have to get a real job.
I don't think you need to dumb down to a child, you merely have to be clear, you know?
Dreamland is a book, but it's my song in book form. It's translated itself into a different medium.
So I came home and I had a resume and everything, but the only job experience I had was just playing in bars and clubs on my summers off. So, I was temping and stuff during the day and playing music at night.
You know, I didn't have enough money to quit my day job... the myth of the major label deal. Nowadays, you have a tour bus and a stylist and all this stuff. But back then, no way.
When I think of the artists I admire and seek out musically. It's because I'm curious about where they're going to go the next time they have a chance to put a record out. It's not about where I find them on the radio dial, or how many records they're selling.
You know, that single girl life and that sense of isolation - that doesn't leave you just like that. And that's what that song is about. I remember that, and that is imprinted on me, that sense.
I went to college and I never allowed myself to think for an instant that I would have this chance to do this.