Story Behind the Song: Darius Rucker, ‘If I Told You’
"If I Told You" was the debut single from Darius Rucker's 2017 album When Was the Last Time. Although the song wasn't written by Rucker -- Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally and Jon Nite are the tunesmiths behind the song -- it's one of the most personal songs, Rucker says, he has ever recorded.
Below, Rucker and the writers of "If I Told You" recall to The Boot and other reporters the day they wrote "If I Told You."
Shane McAnally: The idea was just tossed around: "If you knew everything about me, and if I really told you who I was, would you still love me?" We all thought that was a really cool idea for a song.
It’s personal to all of us, and it just felt like it just rolled. I don’t think there was some big story about someone getting hung up on different things. We just kind of did it ... There’s definitely pieces of all of us in there.
Ross Copperman: [Darius] called Shane when he heard the song and said, "Shane, I can’t believe you wrote my life story. I wasn’t even there to tell it. How did you know?" Literally every line, Darius relates to -- every line throughout.
McAnally: The song -- it had been around -- meaning, it wasn’t brand-new. I actually think it was a little too personal for most people. It would have to be somebody who could relate to it.
I think it’s very vulnerable; I think it’s a brave song to say those things opening the song: "What if I told you about the two-room shack I came from and the man that I get my name from / I don’t even know where he is now." It would be hard for just anyone to say that.
I was just excited because we wrote with Ross. When Ross is going to produce a track, I feel very -- I know that he’s going to get the best sounds, the best vocals, and this is no exception. Darius sounds amazing on it. It breaks my heart in the best way. I was just glad to know that somebody was brave enough to cut it.
Darius Rucker: It was a crazy moment, because we were looking for songs and sitting around, and that one was played for me and instantly -- and I mean instantly -- I really said to my manager, “No one else is cutting this?” He’s like, “No, it came to you.”
I was blown away because, from the opening line, I thought, “This is my life.” I remember the first time I got to the chorus, I said, “Stop it. Let’s cut it right now.” It’s really a song that I thought was written for me.
For me, “What if I told you about my little nothing town / The two-room house where I came from / The man that I got my name from / I don't even know where he is now” -- when I heard that line, I went “Oh my God.” The thing about that song is, it’s open, but it shocked me how many people reached out to me to say, “This is my life” -- so many people.
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