Beth Nielsen Chapman, ‘If My World Didn’t Have You’ (Feat. Rodney Crowell) [Exclusive Premiere]
Decorated Nashville singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman is premiering a new track, her version of "If My World Didn't Have You," exclusively for readers of The Boot. Press play below to listen.
Chapman wrote "If My World Didn't Have You" nearly three decades ago, but not for herself. Fans may remember Willie Nelson's version of the song from his 1989 album A Horse Called Music.
"It’s always been a favorite of mine, and I’ve always wanted to do my own version of it," Chapman tells The Boot. "Not that I didn’t love Willie’s version!"
For her take on the song, Chapman enlisted her "dear old friend," Nashville troubadour Rodney Crowell, who contributes vocals to this version of "If My World Didn't Have You." Chapman and Crowell's stirring harmonies are paired with lush guitars and crying pedal steel on this simple, sparse track.
"[Crowell] has had a great influence on my life musically, both personally and professionally," Chapman says. "In the recording of it, I wanted to keep it very spare and open, really highlighting the simplicity of the lyric and chords."
Laying down her own version of "If My World Didn't Have You" hit close to home for Chapman: She has been dedicating the song in her live shows to her husband Bob, as he undergoes treatment for leukemia.
"He’s doing really well now and is expected to make a full recovery, so it brings me a great deal of joy to sing this song and dedicate it to him," Chapman shares. "Even though it is an older song, it is renewed to me in a different light given the things that are going on in my life right now."
"If My World Didn't Have You" appears on Chapman's forthcoming album, Hearts of Glass, which will also feature, among other tracks, "Old Church Hymns & Nursery Rhymes," a song previously recorded by Waylon Jennings. The album is set for release on April 27.
Listen to Beth Nielsen Chapman's "If My World Didn't Have You" (Feat. Rodney Crowell)