Tell Me

Album: Easy Does It (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • Here's a song that Jake Owen wrote as a direct criticism of his own behavior. It's also about the acute blindness of love, where everybody around you can see what's happening except you - because you don't want to. Jake told us: "In 'Startin' With Me,' there's a line in there that talks about how I let a woman slip right through my fingers. I've done that more than a few times. And with this song, I was dating this one girl, she was what I thought was great. But she didn't have the same intentions I did. And that seems to be the way it goes most of the time: one person's got intentions and the other one doesn't," he says with an ironic laugh. "And all my friends told me it probably wasn't gonna work out. And I just kept on and kept on with it, and everybody kind of just agreed with me. They're like, 'All right, well, if he likes her, then he'll be all right.' But meanwhile, everyone kind of shut up.
    I felt like the whole time I was essentially looking down the barrel of this loaded gun that somebody should have just taken out of my hands and said, 'No.' But then again, I should have taken myself out of it. So it's kind of one of those reflective songs."
  • "I can't write everything dark and dreary," says the singer. "I either sing songs about having fun with love and being carefree, or they're songs where I'm regretting it. But I love the tempo to this song and the way it feels. I love the way it kicks off the new record with the intro. It was a big deal to me to create some sort of a feeling and kind of when you go to a show, you have this kind pre-show intro, and when someone puts the album in their disc player or their MP3, they can kind of get an experience when they're listening." (Check out our interview with Jake Owen)
  • This song has a Western feel to it. Owen explained to CMT News that on Easy Does It he, "wanted to make a sound that takes you some place when you listen to it. Whether it's a happy mood or a dark mood, I think that it's really important to create a sound."
  • Owen told Sioux Falls radio station KIKN that while he wrote the song as a way of dealing with relationship issues, the video ended up telling an entirely different story. "I told [video director Mason Dixon] when I made the video, I said, 'I gotta tell you man, I wrote this song about a relationship that I'm in, have been in, but when I wrote it nothing that your video portrays is anything what I thought the song was like," Owen said. "I read his script and realized that it doesn't matter what a song is about that you write, it's about how people interpret it, and the way he interpreted it was something that needed to be said and done, and so we did it and it takes this song to a totally different world."
  • The music video casts Owen as a mysterious sheriff who arrests a young couple on a Bonnie and Clyde-style crime spree. "There's a line in the song about the love being like a loaded gun, and that one line alone starts some sort of Bonnie and Clyde element," Mason Dixon explained in a 2017 Songfacts interview. "I had [the 1971 film] Vanishing Point in my mind and it just felt like some classic Dukes of Hazzard kind of thing. Even the track had that twangy vibe to it. Between the music and the lyrics I couldn't get those sorts of themes out of my head, so I just went with it. Everybody dug the idea of him being both the good guy and the bad guy, and the big twist at the end that they were in cahoots together."

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