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Please Remember Me


Tim McGraw

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was originally recorded by Rodney Crowell, who wrote the song with Will Jennings. Crowell and Jennings are both songwriters from East Texas, and wrote several other songs together, including "Many Align The Lonesome Highway" and "What Kind Of Love." Crowell wrote a series of Country hits, many for Rosanne Cash, who he was married to from 1979-1991. Jennings had tremendous success writing songs for movies and collaborating with Steve Winwood, B.B. King, Jimmy Buffett and many others. Jennings told us how this came together:
"This song began in the summer of 1994 in the garage of my house in Westlake Village, California, when my engineer and I were testing a portable recording studio which I was to carry with me the next day to Carmel, California, where my wife and I were to stay for three months. My engineer had me playing the keyboard, recording different sounds to different tracks, and out of nowhere I started playing the chorus hook and the title, which came just after the music. After everything had been tested, I had the chorus hook and other parts of the verse melody recorded and saved. We went on to Carmel and Rodney called me weeks later asking for something to work on for his album. I pulled the bits and pieces together, with the chorus title and tune, and sent it all to him. We worked on the phone between Carmel and Nashville and developed the rest of the song. Rodney made a great recording which was overlooked by the public and a year or two later George Massenburg, who loved the song, played it for Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville and made a great record. Years went by and Tim McGraw picked up the song and made a fine record that closely followed Rodney's production and Tim's version was a country and, almost, pop hit. Rodney and I poured out our feelings about ending relationships, realizing the damage done, and wishing departed lovers a better life than they had with us. It's about a breakup, and it was a particular person I had in mind, which I cannot reveal." (Check out our interview with Will Jennings.)
Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt were the first to record this as a duet, their version appearing on Neville's 1997 album To Make Me Who I Am. McGraw's version is a duet with Patty Loveless.
A version by Scotty McCreery was used as the exit song for the 11th series of American Idol. Scotty told USA Today just after recording it: "'Please Remember Me' is a great song with lyrics that are very appropriate for this setting. When you are eliminated, whether it's early on or down the road in the competition, you always want people to remember you. You want to get to work and put out some good music, and through that music, people will remember you. This is one way this lyric can be interpreted for this goodbye song.

I sent (McGraw) a little message and told him we just cut it and it was going to be on Idol every week," he added. "He said, 'Oh, man. That's really cool. I'm sure you nailed it.' He gave me some good feedback."
The song was covered by Danielle Bradbery on NBC's The Voice in 2013. Her version landed at #91 on the Hot 100 after she sang it in the semi-finals.
Tim McGraw
More Tim McGraw songs
More songs written by Will Jennings
More duets
More songs about heartache

Comments (2):

This is a beautiful father told me a story a few years back about it. He had a good friend that passed away from cancer and she was a regular at the bar my dad and his friends frequented. Everytime someone plays this song on the jukebox (almost 10 years later) they still all stop and toast to her. Now that my father has passed away, they do something similar for him, but everytime I hear this song, I think of that story and the amount of emotion there was seeing 20 or 25 grown men raising their beers in honor of a great lady. Great song.
- Katie, Lakeland, FL
This Song Is One Of My Favorite Tim McGraw Songs... It Reminds Me Of My Ex Girlfriend
- Alex, Parrsboro, Canada
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