(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Every once in a while -- OK, maybe more like every day -- I read something and think, "Damn. I wish I'd written that." And so I had a feeling that must happen to songwriters, too. Even the very best ones must occasionally hear a song and wish they'd had the idea first. So Tuesday night (Nov. 9), when BMI hosted its swankier-than-ever country awards presentation, I had the chance to ask a few artists which songs they wish they'd written.
Keith Urban told me his would be a very, very long list. And since we were talking with Justin Moore, Urban started his list by saying, "Well, 'Backwoods,' of course." Then he went on to add Waylon Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" and Dolly Parton's "Here You Come Again." Moore threw his two cents in, too, saying he wished he'd written Brooks & Dunn's "Believe" and Vern Gosdin's "Chiseled in Stone."
Miranda Lambert had a definitive answer for me -- "Desperados Waiting for a Train." Her fiancé Blake Shelton's choice was "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me."
Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood was quick to answer, too, like he'd thought this through before. His was "I Can't Make You Love Me."
Jake Owen said his wish-I'd-written-it one was "Miami, My Amy," an old Keith Whitley song.
Easton Corbin's was "Today I Started Loving You Again."
Ashton Shepherd's was "She Sure Looks Good in Black."
Sugarland's Kristian Bush said he wished he'd penned "Troubadour."
Josh Turner said "Is It Raining at Your House," and Rodney Atkins offered "Live Like You Were Dying."
Uncle Kracker's was "I'm Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home." (Even the title is one I'm sure a lot of artists wish was theirs.)
Luke Bryan (and many, many others) named "The House That Built Me," the one that could win Lambert and songwriters Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin a trophy at Wednesday night's (Nov. 10) CMA Awards. "That song's just perfection, right?" Bryan said. "I mean, that line about burying the dog in the yard? Damn, that's good."