Story Behind the Song: Brett Young, ‘Like I Loved You’
Brett Young's single "Like I Loved You" is the third from his eponymous debut album. Written by Young and Jesse Lee, the song came about after an unfruitful few hours, as the two writers were ready to give up on creating a song ... but instead, over lunch, Young and Lee discovered the song they were meant to write when Lee began discussing an ex-boyfriend. Below, Young recalls to The Boot and other reporters the story behind the song.
Jesse’s first No. 1 was “Peter Pan,” with Kelsea Ballerini. She was writing for [the publishing company] ole at the time, and I didn’t have my deal; this was one of the first songs I wrote when I first moved to Nashville, so no record deal, no meetings with labels or anything, and I just felt very fortunate to be in the room with her.
But then we had one of those stall-outs, where two, two-and-a-half hours in, we didn’t have anything. We did the ceremonial, "Let’s go to lunch to try and get out of the room." We’re sitting at lunch, and she started telling one of her -- we all have our horror stories in relationships. Within the conversation, she said something like, "And then, at the end of it, he asked me if we could still be friends." She got so fired up; she’s like, "Who thinks that that’s ever a good idea?" She started flipping out about it.
I’m normally the passionate, crazy one in a conversation, so when I heard the kind of passion she had for that -- I had been so excited to get out of the write and get to lunch and be done with it, because it was a rough write before that, but when I saw that, I was like, “You know, we’ve got to back. We’ve gotta write that song.”
It’s similar to “In Case You Didn’t Know.” I think that’s with most songs: Once you identify exactly what it is you want to say, it falls out fast. It’s figuring out what you want to say that takes a while. Once I heard her story and I was able to go back in my history and find a good experience of mine that I felt like attached to hers, we went back and we wrote it really quick.
It’s been one of my favorites on the record the whole time, so when we were looking for what the third single was going to be and it started gravitating towards this, I got really excited.
Watch Brett Young Cover "Hallelujah"