Brad Paisley Makes Nostalgia New Again

Yearbook Messages Express the Best of Intentions

Life is full of lasts.

That’s what I’ve been thinking almost every day, as my last child is spending her last days in high school.

And just when I think I might be able to keep my tears at bay, Brad Paisley releases a song that makes it all so much more bittersweet.

In his “Last Time for Everything,” he sings that there is always a last. A last call. Last chance. Last song. Last dance. And the picture he paints of that time in everyone’s life tells such a vivid story, complete with fake IDs, George Strait cassettes and mullets.

“‘Last Time for Everything’ has a hyper focus on those high school years,” Paisley explained in a radio interview.

“You get the sense for the first time in high school that life is a fast-moving machine. You also realize that things change,” he said, “and once they do, they’re changed forever.”

Paisley wrote the song with Smith Ahnquist, Brent Anderson, Chris DuBois and Mike Ryan. He said his intention with the song was to write something nostalgic that didn’t feel like something you’d already heard.

“I’m looking for that thing that feels like those songs that you love that sort of deal with ‘those were the days,'” he said.

Anderson and DuBois came up with the title. To Paisley, the heart of this song is reveling in the things that are never going to happen again.

“Sometimes you realize that in the moment, and sometimes you don’t. You realize it at high school graduation. It’s one of those moments in life, one of the first times.

“You’re standing there in that cap and gown and you’re looking at these people that you’ve been on this journey with, and you’re hugging and you write it in the yearbook, ‘We’ll always be friends’ or ‘Friends forever.’ Whatever. Yeah … but no,” he said.

“You miss that,” he said, “but life keeps going.”

“Last Time for Everything” is featured on Paisley’s brand new album, Love and War.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.