Smile – Uncle Kracker

I really love the feel, the energy, and the emotion of this song. I guess a lot of other people do, too, because it’s a platinum-selling single that’s been at the top of both the Top 40 charts and the Country charts. It’s also a master class in how to express an abstract emotion in a concrete way that makes listeners, well… smile!

“Smile” recorded by Uncle Kracker
Writers: Jeremy Bose, Blair Daly, J Harding, Matthew Shafer

Lyrics are available on the Internet.
Shortcut # refers to my book “Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting.”

This song was a bit of a sleeper when it was first released in 2009  as an Adult Contemporary single, but came back with a roar in 2010 when it went to the top of the Country charts. It crossed over from Country and went back up the AC charts and this time it made it into the top ten!  Just goes to show: You can’t keep a good song down!

Here’s yet another excellent example of the VERSE / CHORUS / VERSE / CHORUS / BRIDGE / CHORUS hit song structure – the basic, contemporary structure that drives so many of today’s hit singles. This song has a catchy, emotionally uplifting chorus, a peak moment in the bridge, and verses that lay out the situation.

Don’t shy away from this common structure in songs of your own because you’re worried that you’ll end up sounding like everyone else. There are a million ways to make it your own. In this song, Verse 2 is shorter than Verse 1, cutting out the repeated melody at the beginning of the verse. The second chorus leads right into a fun, Beatles-style bridge with no pauses at all. Continue reading