Hard to Forget

Album: Southside (2020)
Charted: 26

Songfacts®:

  • "Hard to Forget" finds Sam Hunt singing about a heartbreak that's still haunting him. His lover has walked out and everywhere he goes, the singer is reminded of her.

    I saw your sister at work
    I saw your mama at church
    I'm pretty sure I saw your car at the mall


    Meanwhile, the ex in question has asked Hunt to leave her things out on the porch - she'll grab them by the end of the week.

    It's just jeans and a shirt
    But it's a whole lot of hurt
    I think I know why you've been dragging your feet


    Hunt cannot move on because he reckons the girl is "playin' hard to forget."
  • The song is built around honky-tonk singer Webb Pierce's 1953 12-week #1 hit "There Stands the Glass." The sample originated in the 2019 fall when "Hard to Forget" producer Luke Laird heard Pierce's tune on the Apple Music playlist Honky Tonk Essentials. He recalled to Rolling Stone: "I was like 'Man, what if I made a beat and sample that?'"

    Sitting in his car in a Nashville parking lot, Laird recorded a rough 13-second voice memo into his iPhone. It involved him humming the melody of Pierce's chorus as he beatboxed a crude rhythm.

    A few days later, during a songwriting session with Hunt and fellow songwriter Ashley Gorley, the singer asked Laird if he had any other beats to show him. Laird pulled out the rough voice memo that contained the "There Stands the Glass" sample, which intrigued Hunt. "He was just freaked out over it. Like, 'Gosh, play it again!'"

    The three then merged the sample with a different song that Hunt had been working on with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne titled "Playing Harder to Forget."
  • The song the three came up with starts out with a few lines of "There Stands the Glass" before a beat drops in, distorting the melody of Pierce's honky-tonk classic. The rest of "Hard to Forget" laces bits and pieces of the tune throughout Hunt's vocals, merging old-school country with a contemporary groove.

    "When I was making this beat," Laird told Rolling Stone, "part of me was like, 'If Kanye West came across a bin of old country records, what would he do?'"
  • "There Stands the Glass" is an ode to nursing heartache with a glass of whisky. At first Hunt's song hints at becoming a classic country ode to drinking one's heartache away, but it transforms into a rollicking pop-country tune about a woman who won't leave his thoughts.
  • Sam Hunt had been toying with the idea of sampling a country song from another era for a while. "I tried some samples from the '90s 'cause that's kind of the era of country music that I grew up on, but it never seemed to quite work," he said.

    It wasn't until Luke Laird pulled out a sample of Webb Pierce's "There Stands the Glass," that he knew he'd found the perfect one. "I was in a writing session with a buddy of mine, Luke Laird, and we were in the middle of writing a song," Hunt recalled. "He played this sample for me, and within a minute of hearing it, I knew, it had to be, I didn't even have an idea for the song. It was just Webb Pierce singing and then some drums came in, and I was like, 'I don't know. Just give me some time to come up with an idea for this, and when we do, we've got to write this. It's gotta be a single and we have to put it out next summer.'"
  • Directed by Tim Mattia, the video revolves around a cast of characters taking up residence at the lowbrow, retro, "Southside Motel." As Hunt sits on a lounge chair outside his room strumming a guitar, he takes us through some of the colorful characters staying at the motel. We see a card game breaking out into a brawl, a despondent clown wallowing in his sorrows, a cowboy practicing his roping skills, and a happy little girl dancing to the tune.

    "That was shot at a really cool hotel outside of Los Angeles," Hunt revealed to ABC Audio. "It's just this little world that exists at this little hotel where you've got this kind of motley crew of characters... whether they're running from their problems or not, they're all there just trying to do their best."

    "And I'm inserted into that scenario, just observing and also partaking in the craziness," he added.

Comments: 1

  • Kaylee from ColbyHard to forget is my favorite song I love you Sam Hunt.
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