“When You Think Tim McGraw…”

Music has always been there to help me express how I feel, especially when I didn’t know how to explain my feelings to myself. I grew up surrounded by classic rock, alternative and Israeli music, so coming to Texas, where the popular genre is country, was a big culture shock for me. Everything was different about it; the sound, the style, the lyrics, and the artists that sang this kind of music (cowboy boots do not exist in Israel). I immediately loved it. I loved how country music is associated with dancing, with being carefree, and with sharing a story.

A good country song is one that makes you feel better on a bad day.

A good country song is one inspires you to do something you want to do.

A good country song is one that helps you be someone else.

A good country song is a song that reminds you that someone else out there is going through what you’re going through, and is feeling what you’re feeling.

The first good country song that I heard when I moved to Texas was by Taylor Swift, “Tim McGraw”.

220px-Taylor_Swift_-_Tim_McGrawThe lyrics of “Tim McGraw” talk about a summer romance that had to end, because Swift’s boyfriend was leaving for college, and by doing so; leaving her behind.

Taylor Swift wanted the song to capture the sweetness and sadness of loving and losing someone. The song is called “Tim McGraw,” but is not directed towards the artist Tim McGraw, rather his music. “When you think Tim McGraw / I hope you think my favorite song.” Swift used Tim McGraw’s music as a reminder for the times they spent together, hoping that when Tim McGraw’s songs would play, the boy would remember her.

“When you think Tim McGraw

I hope you think my favorite song

Someday you’ll turn your radio on

I hope it takes you back to that place

When you think happiness

I hope you think that little black dress

Think of my head on your chest

And my old faded blue jeans

When you think Tim McGraw

I hope you think of me.”

“Tim McGraw” was the song to make me fall in love with country music, because it helped me deal with all of the confusing emotions I had when I moved to America. I was feeling sweetness and sadness all at the same time. I was holding on to the memories that I had back home, but excited for the new ones to come.. While this song was written about a boy and a girl, for me this song symbolizes letting go of the past, and looking towards a future. This song is a constant reminder of my family and friends back in Israel, but also a reminder of all the opportunities I now have ahead of me.


Filed under New Country, Reflection, Song Analysis

2 Responses to “When You Think Tim McGraw…”

  1. Hannah Parmer

    I really enjoyed reading your blog! I totally agree when you say that music helps express how you feel even when you can’t explain it yourself. Of course, Taylor Swift is one of my obsessions, so this article made me happy! I think it is awesome that Taylor’s song helped you get through a tough time. Plenty of her songs have done the same for me. I like to call her a lyrical genius. Although people say her songs are mostly about breakups and love, I think it’s really cool that it helped you in a different way. Music and the emotions that come with it are incredible. Great Job!

  2. Dustin Hixenbaugh

    Tamar: I really enjoyed this post. You share a touching personal connection to a country song/artist, and the way you have written it is also rhythmic like a song. I am particularly interested in Taylor’s decision to sing about Tim McGraw. Country music LOVES to make references to earlier artists, but the most common references are the older musicians like George Strait, George Jones, Hank Williams, etc. I guess the fact that Taylor references him means that Tim McGraw has become a “classic.” And referencing a “classic” country star helps Taylor make herself seem like an authentic country star. (It’s kind of like the way “Dirt Road Anthem” references George Jones. The song “sounds” like rock/hip hop, but the writers point out that they still know about and respect ol’ George.)

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