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Keith Urban On How Eric Church Ended Up On ‘We Were’



In October, Keith Urban released a new version of “We Were” featuring one of the song’s writers, Eric Church. Keith says as soon as he heard Eric co-wrote the song, he wanted to hear his voice on the tune.

“As soon as I found out he was a writer, the first thing I wanted to do is I wanted to hear him sing that song, ’cause in my head I heard it top to bottom, so I called him and I said, ‘Would you come in some time and do a version?,’” says Keith. “At the end of the summer, he came by and spent a couple of hours at Sound Emporium Studios. Just hearing him sing the song and do his own thing to it — changing all the phrasing, changing the melody, the odd lyric changing. I sat there and watched him sing it several times back to back, and he never did it the same way twice…ever. And I said to him, ‘You change it every time.’ He goes, ‘Yeah. Why would I do the same thing twice?’ It’s just the way he rolls, [and] it’s because he’s a storyteller. He’s an amazing songwriter; one of the best in town period, and he’s a great storyteller.”

Eric, who penned the song with Ryan Tyndell and Jeff Hyde, didn’t realize just how perfect the song was for his pal until after Keith recorded it.

“That was the coolest thing for me is I didn’t send Keith the song and say, ‘Here’s a song I wrote.’ He found it, and honestly, it fits him more than it fits me. There’s a line in there about ‘two heartbeats in the moonlight/leather jackets on a back of a Harley.’ I don’t ride a Harley. That’s a line, call it ‘poetic license.’ That’s where it came from. He and Nicole used to do that when they first started dating, and they were touring, they would jump on his Harley and they would put on their leather jackets and they’d go ride up in the countryside before the show. I did not know that until after he cut that song,” says Eric. “I truly believe songs find the path that they’re supposed to find, and that one was supposed to be with him.”

(Courtesy of UMG Nashville)

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