Caitlin Cary may be less famous than Ryan Adams, her better-known partner in Whiskeytown, but don't sell her short: the fiddle playing songwriter has a power that lingers, regardless of mainstream cachet. And she certainly knows how to play the strong one, as in this gentle Americana ballad, its lyric a litany of regret for the way her shadow and strength and well-intentioned protection stunted the growth of someone loved yet unnamed.
Odds are good that Cary's "other" here is a lover, not a child. But the potential is there, and it's a scary conceit, for a parent - so hard, in the end, to nurture without smothering, to protect without damaging, and almost impossible to know whether you've gone too far until it's too late to do more than regret. As such, I keep Cary's apology as a morality play, a bulwark against the balance, a reminder that love can kill. May we never need to step into her sentiment.