In the song “Almost is Never Enough,” by one of Canada’s most successful rock bands, Almost Heroes, the lyrics explore a theme that almost everyone can relate to in some way. The opening verse says, “I want more than this. I need so much more.” This statement captures what it means to be almost there – but not quite able to reach our goals and dreams.
The band members discuss how they’ve been through their own struggles with addiction and poverty before achieving success; these experiences have given them a unique perspective on life as well as an understanding of what it takes to move past those challenges.
The song lyrics reinforce the idea that one can be almost anything if they have perseverance and determination. The phrase “almost is never enough” becomes a mantra for achieving our goals, even when we’re not quite sure how to get there yet. It’s about taking that first step – making an effort in order to achieve something better than what you currently have.
This theme of going after your dreams despite whatever obstacles may come up also seems to resonate with lots of other Canadian musicians; at least ten more songs are listed on YouTube as being written by artists who identify as near-heroes themselves, or whose work includes references to this message.
The lyrics to “Almost is never enough” also seem to refer back to the idea of being a hero through small acts, in this case persevering during challenges. Even if you are not sure how things will turn out, it can be worth taking that first step towards achieving your goal and seeing what happens. This theme of going after your dreams despite whatever obstacles may come up also seems to resonate with lots of other Canadian musicians; at least ten more songs are listed on YouTube as being written by artists who identify as near-heroes themselves, or whose work includes references to this message.
Here are some examples:
“The Renegade” by The Weakerthans, a song about someone who takes on the responsibility of saving their friends from drugs because they don’t think that anyone else will. In this case, it turns out to be successful and everyone is happy in the end.
“Rise Up Lights” by Kreesha Turner with Kardinal Offishall where she sings about never giving up even when you’re feeling down, or looking like only one candle left burning in the dark. And again there’s a positive outcome; at least now we know for sure what direction we need to go in order to find light (or so I’m told).
“We Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz, a song with the lyrics “we won’t give up on our love.”
“I’m Movin’ On” by Patty Griffin. This is about following your dreams and setting out in search of freedom and happiness.
The Beatles’s “Hey Jude”; it has verses like: “you are part of me now,” or “don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better.” It isn’t as if we’re looking for an excuse to be miserable when things get tough but rather trying to find hope where there might not seem to be any.
The message being conveyed here may vary depending on who you ask-there will always be someone whose
situation is more dire or whose situation has yet to be resolved.
“I’m Sorry” by Taylor Swift, a song with lyrics like: “but now I see us as we are and suddenly nothing else matters.”
Almost is never enough, but it’s often all we have. Lesson learned the hard way for me in this life so far; no matter how difficult things become there always seems to be someone who has it worse than you do-the loss of a loved one or being unable to find work can seem unbearable if that person was already under stress from financial hardship before their tragedy struck. It’s not about finding excuses when things get tough because they will almost always get tougher eventually anyway, it’s learning
to be grateful for the here and now because it’s all we have.
“I’m sorry” by Taylor Swift, a song with lyrics like: “but now I see us as we are and suddenly nothing else matters.”
If you would like to learn more about the story behind “Almost is Never Enough,” read on.
In 1990, I was living in New York City and working for a large record company. The first time my boss played me this song it stopped me dead in my tracks; when he asked what I thought of it, I said that if someone had given us that demo tape we’d have signed them without listening to anything else they recorded because there’s so much pure talent here. He hadn’t heard it before but told me to break out of whatever path I might be going down at the company and find something new to try—he wanted an A&R person who could tell great music from bad just by hearing one song, and he wanted me to be that person.
I didn’t know then how much this song would come to mean to me, but almost is never enough: one day I was on the phone with my boss when he played it for a friend who thought it sounded like The Who—a conversation we had only days before. He became convinced of its significance (and mine) in our lives as his assistant, and insisted I take a break from work so I could get home early enough one night to watch ‘The Kids Are Alright’ at 11pm EST.
He passed away suddenly just hours later without ever seeing the screening or hearing an update about what happened next; truthfully, there wasn’t any hard news because all anyone did was talk about what an amazing man he was, how much they loved him and missed him.
I think of this song often because it reminds me that almost is never enough: you have to do the best with whatever time you’ve been given. And I try not to be too hard on myself when things don’t go exactly as planned for fear of missing out on something great in my future—especially now that I know life can change so quickly.”