My Old Friend

Album: Live Like You Were Dying (2004)
Charted: 79

Songfacts®:

  • In this heartfelt country tune, Tim McGraw bids farewell to an old friend who has died and hopes the song will help people remember him. Released as the fifth and final single from Live Like You Were Dying, his eighth studio album, it peaked at #6 on the Country chart.
  • Country hitmakers Craig Wiseman and Steve McEwan wrote this during a summertime trip to London. Although they didn't plan to write about someone dying, their shared experience of losing friends naturally came out in the plaintive song. McEwan came up with a melancholy chord progression for the line "my old friend" that inspired Wiseman to take it further. "So I started playing with that, and it was funny because I was like, 'It would be cool to start with 'my old friend,' but whenever you end a stanza and say 'my old friend,' it's the start of the next stanza already," Wiseman explained in the book Nashville Songwriter by Jake Brown. "So, 'My old friend, I apologize,' where every time you say it, you seem like you're ending a line, you're starting a line - we thought that would be a good little poetic device."
  • While they took a break from working on this song, Wiseman and McEwan hammered out another hit: Kenny Chesney's "Summertime."
  • The album was a huge hit, debuting at #1 on both the Country albums chart and the genre-spanning Billboard 200. It sold 766,000 copies in its first week on its way to a quadruple-Platinum certification (4 million units) by March 2006.

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