Portland, Maine

Album: Sundown Heaven Town (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • This wistful ballad finds McGraw singing about a lost love who left him for Portland over an acoustic guitar. The Nashville star sings: "Portland, Maine, I don't know where that is," adding "I don't want to know." He recorded his vocal parts for the song in just ten minutes.
  • The song was written by:

    Canadian folk singer-songwriter Donovan Woods, who is best known for his song "Brand New Gun," which was featured in the movie Numb starring Matthew Perry.

    American musician Abe Stoklasa, who plays guitar and pedal steel for David Nail and Billy Currington. He also collaborated with Marc Beeson on Lady Antebellum's "Lie With Me," which is a track on their 747 album.
  • The song has nothing to do with the city of Portland, Maine, which was disheartening to many residents who saw the Sundown Heaven Town track list and anticipated an ode to their city. "There were a bunch of people on Twitter going, 'Oh my God! There's a song called 'Portland, Maine' on Tim McGraw's new record!,'" the song's co-writer Donovan Woods told us. "'It's going to be about how great the town is and how nice it is here! I hope he really treats it well! I know he likes it here!' I thought, 'Oh, God. These people are going to be really disappointed,' and then they certainly were."
  • In our interview with Donovan Woods, he explained that he has never been to Portland. He chose the city after getting a new cell phone with a new phone number that apparently belonged to someone with lots of debt. Woods got lots of calls from creditors trying to collect, and most of them showed up as "Portland, Maine" on his phone.

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