Listen here. First, to my FR, I realize that you hate Keith Urban. I generally don’t like him as much as others either,[i] but this song is absolutely irresistible. I think it’s because of Miranda Lambert. She’s awesome.
Anyway, here’s the chorus:
Back when that song was a song I could sing along
Without thinking about you every time it came on
Every beat, every line, every word, every time
When the road was a road I could run on through
Without wishing that empty seat was you
Money was gas, dreams were dust, love was fast, and we were us
Who doesn’t have a person like this in their memories? I know it’s supposed to be about love, and the verses are more along those lines. But this chorus? This could be about anyone.
This could be about my sister and I, driving back and forth to the tattoo place we go to a couple towns away. When I moved to the South to start grad school, there were songs that I had a hard time listening to, because they made me think of her. Driving to and from class when I was down there, I would get so sad when I heard certain songs, because they were ours.
This could be about the summer after I graduated from college, when I would spend a lot of weekends in the northern mitten with my FR, not long before her wedding. We would cruise along country roads, singing as loud as we could. She’s always been the only one who let me sing loud in the car, except for my mom. Duets were my favorite – I’d always be the guy voice, because she could hit notes that I couldn’t.
Or, this could be about lost love, like the rest of the song implies. This could be about my high school boyfriend, who lived way out in the country. He was so perceptive of song lyrics – I’d write something out to him in a note or a card, and when the song came on the radio, he’d know it just from the words. Or this could be about my college boyfriend, when I would visit him during the summer he spent in Music City. I haven’t been back there since then, and I know I’m going to have to go soon, or I’ll forever associate the place with him. I need new memories there.
This is why I love this song. It’s catchy, it’s fun, and I have a hard time believing that a person couldn’t relate to it, even a little bit.
My favorite line is the very last line of the chorus. Money was gas. Do you remember when you didn’t have expenses? How everything you’d earn you’d put toward gas in your car. Dreams were dust. I imagine the dust on the dashboard, cruising along just ahead of you. Always there, always floating around, but you can’t quite grasp them yet. Love was fast. High school love, college love, sister love, roommate love. It happened fast, and it’s hard to let go.[ii] And we were us. Who are you the most yourself with? Has that changed? I’ve been myself at different points in my life with different people. Now, I’m most me when I’m with H, K, Seester, and the friends I’ve made since the middle of college. But it was different at the beginning of college, and it was even more different in high school. When you change, your relationships change. And while that may be sad, it’s life. We can’t go back. It’s what it is.
Listening to this on repeat today, for sure.