Dixie Chick sisters, Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Erwin Robison, co-wrote "You Were Mine" in 1995. It is about their parents' break-up and subsequent divorce. Robinson told Entertainment Weekly that her parents try to ignore the fact it is about them: "Both our parents are very sweep-it-under-the-carpet. They know it's about them, but [whispers] we never talk about it. [laughs] They don't want to bring it up because they're still weird around each other. My dad doesn't want to think it's about him, because it doesn't make him look very good, and my mom thinks she's moved on. She'll say something like, 'You know, I really like that song,' but we don't talk about a lot of things."
In 1995, the Erwin sisters invited Natalie Maines to sing lead vocals on the demo of "You Were Mine." The sisters were so impressed with Maines' vocals that she went on to replace Laura Lynch, who was Dixie Chicks' lead singer at the time.
Throughout the track, Natalie Maines' powerful, grief-stricken lead vocals are backed the two sisters' gentle harmonies and a sorrowful violin played by Martie Erwin, resulting in a pungent emission of sadness and loss.
"You Were Mine" is the only original song to appear on Dixie Chicks' breakthrough album, Wide Open Spaces. The song was a commercial success and reached number one on U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks.