Eleven years ago, Carrie Underwood’s video for “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” premiered on CMT.
It feels like yesterday, though, doesn’t it?
The song — written by Morgane Hayes, Kelley Lovelace and Ashley Gorley — was Underwood’s second single after her American Idol win. And it told the autobiographical story of her growing up and leaving home. Her mother tells her, then she tells her mother, and then she tells God: “Don’t forget to remember me.”
But while the song itself tells that story, it’s the picture the video painted that really undid me. It was the first time I’d ever felt so connected to a song.
When I saw it for the first time, my youngest daughter was only 7 and my nest was far from empty. But it showed me the emotional rollercoaster that was on the horizon. And in the 11 years since, I cry hard every single time I watch the video. (A little more so now, because come August, I’ll be the one handing over a map and a bible and tucking a $50 in the ashtray when my daughter leaves for college.)
Underwood’s real life mother Carole made her debut in this video, playing herself, which I think made it the story that much more real. And about four years after it premiered, Underwood put her mom in a second video, for another heartbreaking ballad about growing up, “Mama’s Song.”