Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you hit songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country legend Reba McEntire assumes the role of a heartbroken newlywed in her 1995 hit, “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands.”
Often referred to as the “Queen of Country Music,” McEntire tells the story of a young woman who took her wedding vows with the intention of being faithful for life, but now finds herself thinking about other men. She tried to make the marriage work, but she feels abandoned both physically and emotionally. She yearns to escape the “three-bedroom prison” that she tried to make a home. Her gold wedding band has “turned cold.”
She sings, “I had a ring on my finger and time on my hands / The woman in me needed the warmth of a man / The gold turned cold in my wedding band / It’s just a ring on your finger / When there’s time on your hands.”
Written by Don Goodman, Pam Rose and Mary Ann Kennedy, “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands” was originally recorded by Lee Greenwood in 1982. His rendition — with the lyrics slightly changed to reflect the male perspective — peaked at #5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
Thirteen years later, the song became the second single released from McEntire’s 21st studio album, Starting Over. Her version also scored a Top 10 placement, reaching #9 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. Starting Over was a huge success, hitting #1 on both the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart and the Canadian Country Albums chart.
Reba Nell McEntire was born in McAlester, Okla., in 1955. Her dad and granddad were world champion steer ropers and her mom was a schoolteacher who always had dreams of becoming a country-music artist. Reba’s mom, Jacqueline, was a great vocal coach, however, nurturing the talents of Reba and her siblings. Performing as the Singing McEntires, the kids showed off their talents on local radio shows and at rodeos.
While attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University, the sophomore was booked to sing the National Anthem at the National Rodeo in Oklahoma City. There, McEntire caught the eye of country artist Red Steagall, who brought her to Nashville to cut a demo record. A year later, in 1975, she signed a deal with Mercury Records.
Today, McEntire is considered one of the most successful country artists of all time, with more than 75 million records sold worldwide. She’s had 42 #1 singles and 16 #1 albums. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011.
In the video, below, McEntire is accompanied by a full orchestra while performing her spirited rendition “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands.” The clip is from a CBS television special titled “Reba: Celebrating 20 Years.” Check out the lyrics if you’d like to sing along…
“Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands”
Written by Don Goodman, Pam Rose and Mary Ann Kennedy. Performed by Reba McEntire.
I stood before God, my family and friends
And vowed that I’d never love anyone else again, only him
As pure as my gown of white I stood by his side
And promised that I’d love him until the day I died
Lord, please forgive me even though I lied
Because you’re the only one who knows just how hard I tried
I had a ring on my finger and time on my hands
The woman in me needed the warmth of a man
The gold turned cold in my wedding band
It’s just a ring on your finger
When there’s time on your hands
When I add up all the countless nights I cried myself to sleep
And all the broken promises you somehow failed to keep
He can’t blame me
He’s the one who left me too many times alone
In a three bedroom prison I tried to make a home
My love slowly died but the fire inside still burned
And the arms of a stranger was the only place left to turn
Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.