“Right on Time” by Brandi Carlile

“Right on Time” is a song which we could postulate is based upon a romantic relationship, and we will proceed under that assumption. But either way, more to the point would be the fact that the singer’s friendship with the addressee has apparently been destroyed. And she kinda admits, to some degree, that she mistreated them, i.e. possessing the tendency to “take… out” her pent-up emotions on them, as she knew they could take it.

And this is where the song gets more interesting, or perhaps we can even say unorthodox. The vocalist isn’t exactly what you would call apologetic. Yes, she does wish that things would have transpired differently between her and the addressee. 

A Lonely Narrator

Also as noted earlier, she recognizes that she victimized them in times past. But instead of digging deeper into the confusing metaphors of this song, let’s get straight to the main point, which is more obvious than the details. And such would be that in the present she is upset that their relationship is no more. However, she does not regret the two of them having parted ways.

In other words, the vocalist is lonely without her partner, now getting to the point “where she can’t carry on” without them. But simultaneously, she recognizes that the two of them breaking up, back whenever such did transpire, was for the best at that moment or as she puts it “right on time”. 

However, she feels that they still have a chance to get back together. And obviously that’s what she wants to happen, i.e. reconciliation, on top of being able to perceive a similar disposition (as detailed at the beginning of the second verse) in the addressee. Or, at least that’s what appears to be going down in this narrative, i.e. the vocalist being someone who advocated the dissolution of this relationship when it happened and still doesn’t regret it happening yet does very much miss her ex.

Lyrics to "Right on Time" by Brandi Carlile

Fact about “Right on Time”

The music video to this track was directed by Courtney Cox, a name which many readers may instantly recognize as the actress behind fictional character “Monica” of Friends’ fame. And this is the first time that Cox, who concurrently received an Emmy nomination for producing Friends: The Reunion, has directed a music video.

Brandi Carlile performed this song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on its release date of 21 July 2021. And this is the opening track from her seventh studio album, In These Silent Days, a product of Elektra Records and one of its imprints, Low Country Sound.

Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings produced this song. And Cobb also co-wrote it with Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth and Phil Hanseroth. Those latter two individuals are actually twin brothers who regularly collaborate with Carlile.

Right on Time

Brand Carlile is a singer from Washington state whose first album, a self-titled effort, came out in 2005. As time progresses so does her showing on the Billboard 200. And as such her last album leading up to this – 2018’s “By the Way, I Forgive You” – marks her best showing to date on the ranking, peaking at number four. However 2007’s The Story, her second project, performed better commercially.

“By The Way, I Forgive You” also earned Brandi Carlile a Best American Album Grammy in 2019.  And one of the songs thereupon, “The Joke“, concurrently took home a couple of Grammys of its own (Best Americana Roots Performance and Best Americana Roots Song).

13 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    You do know that Brandi Carlile is married to a woman?

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is wonderful. When I heard this song the first time, and many times thereafter, I think of my son who is estranged from me due to PAS. I own that I did not handle it right and protect him and I miss him. I did the very best I could, always with his safety in mind in a (literally) insane dymanic. Ultimately, I lost my son to the perpetrator and I miss him deeply. There isnt any romantic partnership in my life since my husband died so I hear this connected to other kinds of love…not just romantic.

  3. Anonymous says:

    ummmmmm, yeah she is married to a women, this song it not about a man and a women. I Mean I guess it depends on the persons perspective. I mean maybe this could be any relationship. It could be a family relationship, it does not have to be a romantic one. I mean this article needs a few tweeks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Based on her Howard Stern interview, Courtney Cox who directed the Right On Time video interpreted the song to be about “the self”…..about the physical obstacles we place in front of ourselves. Very compelling and puts a different visual on the lyrics.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I always thought there might be a little of everything in this song. Brandi’s first love- Kim, a police officer she writes a lot about in her memoir, her relationship with her brother, and her fans. Right on time, as in COVID caused a time Of quiet and deep reflection.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I interpret “silent days” as depression and the narrator distancing themselves.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This song is powerful – it can be interpreted as being how some parents in a relationship struggle to stay close with challenges that are never going to change…how you can rage against them by raging at each other but all that does is break down the relationship over time. Then the kid grows up and moves away and you are left with a disintegrated relationship, right on time.

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