From the Vault: The Booth Brothers, "Buy Me a Rose"

From the Vault: The Booth Brothers, "Buy Me a Rose" June 18, 2015

This latest upload from the Booth Brothers’ Live in Lakeland project is a one-off, completely unplugged cover of the Kenny Rogers hit “Buy Me a Rose,” penned by Jim Funk and Erik Hickenlooper (boy, what a mouthful!) You’ll notice the run-time on this one is a bit longer than usual, and that’s because I’ve included Michael’s moving words at the end on marriage and divorce. In an incredibly sweet moment, he walks down into the audience at the end of the song to present his wife Vicki with a rose, then they stand together while he offers some reflections.

Since this concert, Michael has opened up more about his wife’s difficult childhood past and how they’ve sought counseling at various points in their marriage. But even here, he’s honest about their struggles. “We found out it was more than 50/50. It’s 100% without really expecting much in return. And that’s when things really seem to work out the best.” Sadly, Christian couples and even southern gospel couples aren’t always spared the pain of divorce, and Michael specifically recognizes that. In a room that size, he says there are bound to be couples who are hurting. At the same time, he expresses his conviction that when both parties in the marriage are committed to Christ and each other, it will be able to weather the storm. The tragedy is that so often it is only one spouse or the other who actually wants to keep on trying. (I confess that I have less sympathy for so-called “mutual divorces,” where the husband and wife jointly throw in the towel).
This performance is yet another home run for the group and one I vote they resurrect in concert as long as Ronnie is lugging around that guitar of his. I don’t throw away compliments, and I can confidently say this version blows the original out of the water. Vocally, I don’t think I’ve heard Michael better, both technically and emotionally. Kudos to Ronnie and Jim for their spot-on BGVs too.

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • WIBBFan

    Loved seeing that! So touching. What does this mean: “a one-off, completely unplugged cover?”

  • By one-off, I mean it was never recorded in the studio. In fact, they didn’t even have a pre-recorded track for it, so accompaniment was all acoustic.

  • thenickkitchen

    I found this interesting. I love the Booth Brothers and I certainly appreciate Michael’s words on marriage and divorce. I would just say, in regards to your “mutual divorce” remarks, that there really isn’t such a thing as a mutual divorce. Because I promise you, even if both parties are saying “yes, we want to end this thing,” at least one of the pair is desperately wishing and crying out internally for any other resolution than this. Sometimes, even if you have to agree with the person wanting to leave or you’re the person left to pull the trigger on the unthinkable, it’s not because it’s what you want it to happen. Even when it’s good and Christ centered, marriage is the most challenging and rewarding experience you’ll encounter this side of eternity. Just think maybe those in the “mutual” camp may deserve a little empathy too.

  • Yeah, let me clarify: I know that sometimes the innocent spouse is bullied into putting his/her official signature down or even initiating the filing process. That’s not what I meant though. I agree with you that there are many situations where the “official” situation may not be at all a good reflection of what’s really going on. However, I’ve seen statements made where the one person is saying things like “my wife and I both agree” or “we’ve decided together that it’s for the best,” or whatever. Now, that might be false, of course. But what I meant was, I could imagine situations where that really was true. Or, as sometimes happens, perhaps both spouses are cheating on each other and have decided they’d each be better off with someone else. In that case there is no innocent party.