Letter To Me

Album: 5th Gear (2007)
Charted: 40

Songfacts®:

  • In this song Brad Paisley is imagining he is writing a letter to his 17-year-old self. He reflects on people and moments that have shaped him, and tells his teenage self what he has learned over the years.
  • One of the lyrics refers to Linda Brinkman, who was Paisley's public speaking teacher and was a great help in the Country star overcoming performance anxiety. He recalls in an interview with the North County Times June 27, 2007: "There's a line in the song that says, "And you should really thank Mrs. Brinkman." She was - and still is - the speech teacher at John Marshall High School. She told me, 'You have to take this class. When you get up with a guitar you're fine. But you need to know how to talk in any situation to a group of people if you really want to do this for a living.' It was a pivotal time in my life."
  • In the same interview Paisley discloses how his baby son influenced the writing of this song: "As I wrote it I saw a second chance emerging in the song, and the second chance is epitomized in the fact that I have a son now. When I wrote it, I didn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl. Maybe deep down I knew all along."
  • The video for this song was filmed at John Marshall High School, Paisley's alma mater in his hometown of Glen Dale, West Virginia. It features some of his classmates from 1991 when he was 17, and some contemporary students from the school.
  • "Letter to Me" was Paisley's sixth consecutive #1 hit on the Hot Country songs chart and his 10th in total.
  • Brad Paisley was inspired to write "Letter to Me" after his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, was asked to contribute to an anthology titled What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self.
  • "Letter To Me" spent four consecutive weeks at the top of the country chart, but Paisley admitted during an event at the 2018 Country Radio Seminar that he never expected it to become a single at all.

    "That song was written 100 percent for myself; it was never intended to be a single," he recalled. "We cut it for all the right reasons, which basically were that we knew it needed to exist."

    "We sit around in [Nashville] a lot and say, 'Here's a thing we could put together that the fans would want to buy,'" Paisley added. "But that's the wrong way to do it. We need to think more about what's going to get people emotional. I think that the best music is the music that you mean."

Comments: 2

  • Aless from Houston, TxI always listen to this song when I feel bummed out about getting older. It helps me keep in mind that "this too, shall pass"
  • Kory from El Paso, TxI listen to this song a lot but this song is so awsome
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Stephen Christian of AnberlinSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist for Anberlin breaks down "Impossible" and covers some tracks from their 2012 album Vital.

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Grateful Dead CharactersMusic Quiz

Many unusual folks appear in Grateful Dead songs. Can you identify them?

Jesus In Pop Hits: The Gospel Songs That Went MainstreamSong Writing

These overtly religious songs crossed over to the pop charts, despite resistance from fans, and in many cases, churches.

80s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

MTV, a popular TV theme song and Madonna all show up in this '80s music quiz.

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.