Never Wanted To Be That Girl

Album: 29: Written in Stone (2021)
Charted: 63
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Songfacts®:

  • This confessional story-song finds Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde discovering they're both in a committed relationship with the same man.
  • The song starts off with McBride singing about a man helping her change a tire. This leads to them sharing a beer, then winding up in a six-month relationship. McBride is unaware the guy also has a wife at home until she sees a message from Pearce on his phone.

    Pearce then takes the reins to tell her side of the story as the two-timing dude's wife, explaining how she was waiting at home, wondering where he's been, followed by her heartache when she uncovers his cheating.
  • Pearce and McBryde wrote the song with Shane McNally in late May or early June 2021 for her 29: Written in Stone album. Both women felt from the beginning the song would be a great duet with Pearce portraying the wife, and McBryde the mistress. "I'm certainly not going to be the one to be out changing a tire and grab[ing] a beer," Pearce told Taste Of Country. "That felt more like Ashley, and my scenario felt more like me."
  • The song draws comparisons with "Does He Love You," the 1993 classic single by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis. Pearce (31) and McBryde (38) were the same age when they recorded the duet as Davis and McEntire were when their song became a hit, although in the earlier song the older of the two characters plays the wife. Pearce told Taste of Country that the three writers distanced themselves from "Does He Love You."

    "That is a timeless piece of art that can never be topped or even matched," she said. "And for me, and for Ashley, we wanted to do a different perspective."
  • Not only does the track delve into the cheating husband's betrayal, but it also focuses on what the two women have in common. "What's interesting about this song is we could have gone to a place of blame on the others in the love triangle, but we turned it inward," Pearce pointed out. "It's unique that two women who never meet are getting burned by the same man and having the exact same feelings. We intentionally kept the chorus the same to reflect that neither wanted to be in this position."
  • The two country stars performed the song during the 2021 CMA Awards. Later, when Pearce was speechless after winning female vocalist of the year, McBryde walked up on onstage and talked to the audience while the "Next Girl" singer regained her composure. "What she meant to say was, 'There's a lot of love, respect and admiration in this category,'" said McBryde, giving her duet partner time to collect her thoughts. Once Pearce calmed down, she could continue speaking.

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