The aptly named debut album Everyone Has a Story To Tell from Metro Detroit singer/songwriter Lisa Mary features her single, “Under One Roof”, channels the inner thoughts of a woman and her partner starting their new homelife. The appeal and charm in this meat and potatoes country hit is found in its sing along lyrics and Mary’s exquisite vocal delivery. The story Mary tells in “Under One Roof” is that with love, a house becomes a home.
You’ve always been my best friend, Mary sings. Her voice is in harmony with the lyrics and the song’s vibe. Her tone is rich, with semblances of a slight country twang and thoughts coming to the surface from a woman that is crossing life goals off her list. Mary sounds satisfied and at peace. She also sounds like she’s found true love. It’s not in the Disney princess sort-of-pie-in-the-sky love. Mary, who is 21, is a realist and knows that this next major step in the relationship is going to take work, but if we tell the truth, we’ll make it under one roof, she sings. The repeated lines, that’s when a boy becomes a man, and a girl becomes a woman…gives thought to the idea ‘well, there’s no turning back now, we’re adults’. I’m so glad Mary didn’t go the cutesy route.
I think in that short, little phrase she cements her songwriting skills. It’s something like what you might hear from iconic Nashville songwriter Tom Douglas. Among the dizzying amount of Douglas hits are “We Made Love” (Alabama), “I Run To You” (Lady Antebellum), “The House That Built Me” (Miranda Lambert) and “Drive” Eli Young Band. Mary’s songwriting style is Nashville-friendly, but I think with her being in Michigan, she gets the best of both worlds. Her voice has that fire in it, an undeniable thirst for connecting with her audience. She’s not pandering in her lyrics, and she reminds us that the white picket fence is great and all, but the simple joy of having a driveway we can pull into is just as wonderful.
The more I listened to this song the more I really connected with the hard work aspect. Just as relationships are work, the pay-off is not always a house. Imagine the sweat equity to put into this song, and buying a house. From the outside looking in, this is where we begin, be my shelter, be my bullet proof, under one roof, she sings in the chorus. Mary sings of her partner and the physical (literal) house. An acoustic guitar, meandering its way in the music bed, is slow and steady. It’s like a lawn mower going back and forth in the suburban lawn. The drums pop up, about every fourth beat, as if it were a car going past the row of houses.
No, this song isn’t “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, but “Under One Roof” is a splendid moving photograph of a young couple on the verge of really starting the next chapter in their storied-filled lives.