The Secret of Life (album)

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The Secret of Life
Studio album by Gretchen Peters
Released 1996
Recorded 1995–1996
Genre Country, folk
Length 42:12
Label Imprint
Producer Daniel Green
Gretchen Peters chronology
The Secret of Life
Gretchen Peters

The Secret of Life is the debut studio album by singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters. It was released in 1996, and featured a minor hit single in the track, "When You Are Old". The song reached number 68 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The album was the first release for Imprint Records.[1]

Faith Hill covered the title track and took it to number 4 on the country chart in the States (while also scraping into the top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100). Trisha Yearwood recorded her own version of "On a Bus to St. Cloud" for her full-length Thinkin' About You (two years prior to the release of this album), while Martina McBride has recorded 3 songs: "This Uncivil War", "When You Are Old" and "Independence Day" which she took to number 12 on the U.S. country chart.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]

Allmusic gave the album three stars (out of a possible five), comparing her to fellow singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, calling the songs "highly introspective, thoughtful and intelligent".[2] An uncredited review in Billboard said that Peters "proves to be as satisfying a singer as she is a writer."[1]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Gretchen Peters except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Waiting For the Light to Turn Green"   Peters, Suzy Bogguss 3:42
2. "Border Town"     4:07
3. "I Ain't Ever Satisfied"   Steve Earle 3:50
4. "I Was Looking For You"     3:58
5. "On a Bus to St. Cloud"     3:55
6. "Over Africa"     4:10
7. "This Uncivil War"     4:08
8. "The Secret of Life"     4:16
9. "A Room With a View"     3:39
10. "Circus Girl"     3:34
11. "When You Are Old"     2:53
12. "Independence Day"     3:44



  • Produced By Daniel Green
  • Engineered By Tom Hitchcock, Steve Marcantonio & Mike Psanos; assisted by Marc Frigo, Mike Purcell, Daryl Roudbush, Ed Simonton & John Thomas II
  • Mixed By Steve Marcantonio
  • Digital Editing By Don Cobb
  • Mastered By Denny Purcell


  1. ^ a b "Reviews". Billboard: 85. June 22, 1996. 
  2. ^ a b "The Secret of Life". Allmusic. Retrieved February 23, 2012.