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Lori McKenna Wishes You Have ‘Happy Children’ With New Song (Review)

Lori McKenna always has a way of imparting sage advice in her work. With “Happy Children,” she not only hopes one’s offspring are content with their lives, but she offers a vital piece of wisdom about life and aging.

“When you’re young you wanna be old,” she sings. “When you’re old you wanna be young / I wish you all the best in case this life’s the only one.” Her words fall like rain, enveloping and cleansing. It’s not enough to live in the moment, but the idea that this could just be the beginning of existence is powerful. It’s the hope embedded within the song that’s downright magical.

“I heard someone say this once, ‘I wish you happy children.’ Feels like the greatest wish of all time,” she says of the song, which she co-wrote with her son Chris. “It went through a couple different variations until [producer] Dave Cobb brought it so beautifully to life in the studio with the band. If my heart could say just one thing, this song is what it would say.”

Listen to “Happy Children” below.

“Happy Children” follows the Hillary Lindsey-featuring “Killing Me” and “The Town in Your Heart,” all samples to her forthcoming album. 1988 drops everywhere July 21.

McKenna wrote the new album, which also features songwriters Jessie Jo Dillon, Ben West, and Luke Laird, through the lens of growing older. “I was trying to let my age and experience guide me through making a record I wished I’d made when I was younger,” she says. “I really wanted it to sound like if I made a rock record in the ‘90s, and then I remembered that I made my first album in 1998. There’s something so 30 years ago in my head about this record. In a way, I wish I could start again and know what I know now.”

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