Small Town Hypocrite

Album: If It Wasn't For You (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Caylee Hammack grew up in the small town of Ellaville, Georgia, where all through high school, she never really felt like she fit in. She got a music scholarship to Belmont University, but turned it down to stay in Ellaville with her boyfriend, hoping they would get married and live happily ever after. Bad idea: he ended up cheating on her, and by the time she found out, she had lost her scholarship.

    In this autobiographical song, she realizes that she and the guy are both small town hypocrites, talking about their big dreams in bigger cities, but never leaving.

    Hammack did get out of Ellaville; motivated by her boyfriend's betrayal, she headed to Nashville, where she landed work as a staff songwriter and then got a record deal. This song appears on her debut album, If It Wasn't for You. As for the guy she left behind, he ended up living in a double-wide trailer.
  • Hammack was still working as a staff songwriter when she wrote this song with fellow Music City tunesmith Jared Scott. The song came about when they started talking about their exes and Hammack told the story about her cheating boyfriend and how the breakup landed her in Nashville.
  • Hammack isn't trying to slag off her hometown in this song - she makes it clear that she's the hypocrite, not the folks who live there. "It's not that the town itself is hypocritical," she told American Songwriter. "It just seemed to be the men I was attracted to were the dreamers that would scheme and say, 'Oh, I'm gonna get out of here.' The people that hated the small town for some reason and complained about it constantly, but then never left."

    "I had these wings," she added. "I cut them off, put them in a box, and started looking at wedding rings. That was the small-town hypocritical side of myself."

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