Music Friday: Buddy Melton's 'A Diamond Took My Place' Tells Story of Forlorn Lover

March 4, 2022

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 natural 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 river
Under the highest bridge in town
Beneath the rocks and the water
A treasure can be found

Ain't no legend to surround it
No tale of better days
Just a heartache for an old poor boy
And six months of hard-earned pay

No, it ain't a natural 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

On that fateful night by the meadow
My whole world fell apart
Said she couldn't take the ring that I bought her
For someone had stole her heart

So there I stood on the bridge in my misery
And prepared to take my life
Was no need to carry on with tomorrow
If she would not be my wife

No, it ain't a natural 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

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.