Who You Thought I Was

Album: Your Life Is a Record (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Who You Thought I Was" is a soaring ballad that finds Brandy Clark reflecting on the end of a relationship. The singer remembers things she wanted out of life in her younger days.

    I used to wanna be a cowboy
    A shadow in a sunset
    That's why I started smokin' cigarettes.


    Because of her time with her now-ex, Clark's priorities have changed. She wants to be a better person now that her lover has gone.

    Now I wanna be better
    I wanna be the me I should have been when we were together
    I wanna be at least almost close to worth your love
    I wanna be who you thought I was
  • A John Prine joke at an Americana Honors & Awards ceremony kick-started the song. Clark recalled at an album preview event:

    "John Prine walked out, and everybody stood up and clapped for a long time. I think in an attempt not to get emotional, he made a joke of it. He said, 'I'm John Prine, but I'd like to go back to being who you thought I was.'"

    The songwriter in Clark instantly recognized a song, so she put the idea in her phone. Her heart recognized a truth, which bought her to tears. She explained: "I cried because I'd felt that way. Like, 'Man, I'd love to be who somebody thought I was,' you know? It can really be anything. I'd like to be who my dogs think I am, on most days."

    The very next day Clark sat down and penned the song.

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