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Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you new music with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, bluegrass star Buddy Melton tells the story of a poor boy who proposes to the love of his life, only to find out she loves another, in his brand new release “A Diamond Took My Place.”
The protagonist is so distraught that he’s prepared to end it all. His plan is to jump off the highest bridge in town, but at the last moment he sacrifices the ring instead.
In the first verse, songwriter Milan Miller describes a treasure hidden under the rocks at the bottom of the river. But then the song takes an unexpected turn and we learn that the treasure is actually a diamond ring purchased by the forlorn lover with six months of hard-earned pay.
He sings, “No, it ain’t a nature wonder / ‘Cause I put it there myself / Just to serve as a reminder / Of the emptiness that I felt / So each time I cross that river / I say a word of grace / For it makes my body shiver / That a diamond took my place.”
Better known as the co-founder of the bluegrass band Balsam Range, Melton explained to bluegrasstoday.com that the release of “A Diamond Took My Place” represents the first in a series of new solo recordings.
“I have been a fan of ‘A Diamond Took My Place’ since I first heard it several years ago,” he said. “I am often lucky enough to hear Milan’s original songs first, and when he sent a demo of this one I knew it was one I wanted to record. It is a clever lyrical song with a fun uptempo groove in a minor key that supports the storyline. I guess you can say it checks a lot of boxes for what I consider to be a great song.”
Balsam Range was founded in 2007 in Haywood County, NC. Over the past 15 years, the group has received numerous awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), including multiple trophies for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. On an individual level, Melton was named Male Vocalist of the Year by the IBMA in 2014 and 2018.
Please check out the audio track of “A Diamond Took My Place.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…
“A Diamond Took My Place”Written by Milan Miller. Performed by Buddy Melton.
Down by the bend of the riverUnder the highest bridge in townBeneath the rocks and the waterA treasure can be found
Ain’t no legend to surround itNo tale of better daysJust a heartache for an old poor boyAnd six months of hard-earned pay
No, it ain’t a nature wonder‘Cause I put it there myselfJust to serve as a reminderOf the emptiness that I felt
So each time I cross that riverI say a word of graceFor it makes my body shiverThat a diamond took my place
On that fateful night by the meadowMy whole world fell apartSaid she couldn’t take the ring that I bought herFor someone had stole her heart
So there I stood on the bridge in my miseryAnd prepared to take my lifeWas no need to carry on with tomorrowIf she would not be my wife
Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.