Like "No One Else," "I'll Be Fine" is another oldie. This was the first song I wrote fully back in college with my band Broken Folk. I say first song because I don't count my high school era I'm-so-deep-and-poetic songs. Unlike "No One Else," "I'll Be Fine" always seemed to be a little better than moody college Tyler. When I was looking through what to put on "A Sea Of Empty Faces," I'll be fine seemed to fit perfectly. And the early demos I put together with my cellist Michael Ronstadt just seemed to be exactly what I wanted out of a mid-album track.
The story is a simple one. It's a breakup song. The first verse sets up that the character is broken, while the girl seems to have moved on and is happy. He can't move on as he's "just not made that way." Verse two is more or less a different take on verse one. He's starting to see the holes she left in his life.
As we move into the chorus, you'll hear that I get about as angsty and moody as I will get in a SMSM song. Again, I wrote this in college. It's the third verse where you start to see the typical SMSM writing. The character acknowledges that he's fine, or at least will be, wishes her the best. What really makes this song is the cello dancing around the melody. I always love simple arrangements with one or two instruments. This was originally written to be a solo guitar and voice, but when Michael started playing cello I couldn't leave it out.
This is one of the last songs I wrote that didn't have an underlying metaphor or backstory behind the song. It was written when I was heartbroken, and sometimes you just need a good heartbreak song.