I knew it. I could tell from one of the first rhymes of this song — At least there’s a little bit of sweet in the bitter/Though a part of me is always gonna miss her — that it came from Eric Church. I don’t know what it is about the way he crafts lyrics and tells stories, but “We Were” just screams Eric Church.
And I wasn’t wrong.
The new Keith Urban song was a Church co-write. He penned the tune with Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell. But when Urban texted him about it, it sounds like Church has written so many country songs that he didn’t remember this one per se. At least not at first.
In a recent radio interview, Urban talked about how he found out who was behind this first-love love song. “I had no idea Eric (Church) was a writer on it when we went in and recorded it. We actually recorded it last December before Christmas,”” he said. “And then I just lived with it for a while tinkering little bits and pieces over the next handful of months until we finished it out. And it wasn’t until I was doing label copy and needed to make sure I had all the lyrics right and asked for a copy of there lyrics and that’s the first time I saw the writers on the song.
“As soon as I read the names on the lyric sheet, I texted him and I said, ’Did you write this song ’We Were’?”
Apparently, Church replied to Urban’s text asking, “Is that about something about a water town and something?”
It makes sense that he might not be able to quickly recall all the songs he’s written. Church is one of Nashville’s most prolific country songwriters, even when he’s not recording those songs for his own albums. For example, he co-wrote Lee Brice’s “Life Off My Years,” Jon Pardi’s “Whiskey,” Zac Brown Band’s “Wildfire” and even Terri Clark’s “The World Needs a Drink” from 15 years ago. All in all, Church has 260 songs in his songwriter/composer repertoire. But Urban’s been staying busy with songwriting himself. Since he moved to Nashville in the early 90s, Urban has composed 268 songs.