Sure, you’ve heard Dan Seals’ “Everything that Glitters (Is Not Gold)” at least once before. It became a hit single in the mid-1980s topping the country charts both in the US and Canada. Moreover, the song was one of Seals biggest hits after leaving his partner John Ford Coley to pursue a solo career.
Seals co-wrote the emotional song with the Songwriter of the Year awardee Bob McDill. According to McDill, he and Seals had wanted to write a rodeo song and “Everything that Glitters (Is Not Gold)” was what they came up with. Yet, he agreed that the song was one of those who was like “pulling teeth” to write. It took them several months to finish it. Their hard work in completing the song had paid off though when it became a smash hit in 1986. It gave Seals his 10th No. 1 and second to the last single to top the chart. The album on which the song appeared, Won’t Be Blue Anymore, was a chart-topper, itself. Additionally, it spawned two other No. 1 hits, namely “Meet Me in Montanna” and “Bop.”
The Melodramatic Story within the Song
Perhaps most of you, dear readers, would agree that the song is perfect for a film. Why not? It tells a brilliant story which happens in real life. I bet many could relate to it.
Furthermore, it’s rich in characters that all played a significant role to provide a complete picture of the account. It was told that those characters seemingly originated from the stories of Seals’ grandmother. The protagonist is a struggling rodeo rider. He has a daughter who is, little by little, turning into a woman. They live in a mobile home with an old horse that is supposed to be in pasture. However, the narrator “just can’t bear to let him go.” Of course, his estranged wife who, after becoming successful, had left behind the people who loved her. She was a popular figure on the national livestock rodeo circuit, and that made her forget her family.
The narrator and his daughter Casey had to face life together without the woman. The two had participated in countless rodeo competitions. Casey grew up always being curious about her mother’s identity and whereabouts. Throughout their journey, the narrator mentions this in the song, and he often falls short of answers that his little one could understand. Things were made complicated by the fact that his wife does not keep in contact with them at all. Notwithstanding all of that, the narrator still loves her. He even hopes one day they’ll be together again.
Seals had apparently poured his heart out to the song. His unparalleled emotions can strongly be felt from his rendition of the tune. Listen to his recording below, and you’ll certainly agree that no movie could ever match the singer’s emotions in it.
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Bob McDill, Dan Seals, Everything that Glitters (Is Not Gold)