You Lie

Album: Rumor Has It (1990)

Songfacts®:

  • The female narrator of the song knows her man is not in love with her, but is willing to stay to avoid hurting her. Her dilemma is whether to let him go to end the painful situation, or to stay to keep the man she adores. In the end of the video, the man leaves after a fight, and Reba (narrator) symbolically releases a wild horse. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lily - Argyle, TX
  • This was written by Nashville songwriters Charlie Black (Anne Murray's "Shadows In The Moonlight"), Austin Roberts (Betty Buckley's "Over You"), and Bobby Fischer (BlackHawk's "Goodbye Says It All"). Fischer was managing up-and-coming country singer Cee Cee Chapman, and the song originally appeared on her 1988 debut album, Twist of Fate, but wasn't released as a single. Reba's rendition was a #1 hit on the Country chart.
  • After Fischer's partnership with Chapman fell through, he shopped this around to different labels until he landed on Reba McEntire at MCA. Arista Records had turned it down, predicting "it's not a breakthrough song." Fischer keeps the rejection letter on the wall in his office.
  • Fischer told American Songwriter how the song came together: "It took two songwriters to come up with a two-word song title, 'You Lie.' I had a co-write with Charlie and Austin the day 'You Lie' was written and we were writing for a female artist I was managing. I told the guys to try for a high note, since the artist was good at hitting the high notes. The only word Austin could think of to go with the note was 'lie' and he sang it high. I said, 'What if a person didn't want to tell another it was over?' I sang the words 'you lie,' pretty out of tune, and there was the title."
  • This earned Reba a Grammy nomination for Best Country Performance, Female, but she lost to Kathy Mattea for "Where've You Been."

Comments: 1

  • Chet from Buffalo, NySweet harmonies!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Matt Sorum

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Gilby Clarke

Gilby ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

The Guns N' Roses rhythm guitarist in the early '90s, Gilby talks about the band's implosion and the side projects it spawned.

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)Songwriter Interviews

The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.

Mick Jones of Foreigner

Mick Jones of ForeignerSongwriter Interviews

Foreigner's songwriter/guitarist tells the stories behind the songs "Juke Box Hero," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and many more.

Gavin Rossdale of Bush

Gavin Rossdale of BushSongwriter Interviews

On the "schizoid element" of his lyrics, and a famous line from "Everything Zen."