Tim McGraw, ‘The One That Got Away’ – Lyrics Uncovered
The lyrics to the track 'The One That Got Away,' which will be found on Tim McGraw's highly-anticipated 'Emotional Traffic' album, were started many years ago by one of the song's writers, Dave Pahanish.
"I started writing [it] about 12 years ago," Pahanish tells Taste of Country. "I was gigging at some college in a very small town in the middle of who knows where. I had time to kill before the show and nothing to do but walk around town. Everything was as you would expect it to be in a small town."
"[There was] a large group of people crowding outside of a diner to catch a glimpse of someone important who was inside," he continues. "A few moments later, I found out some movie was shooting in town and Richard Gere was the star. I'd finished my tour of the town not long after and continued on to the woods by a railroad track with a guitar on my back. I sat down and started pickin' a song -- a haunting tune that just kind of fell out of the guitar. It instantly had a different sound to me because my high E string was tuned down one step to a D, and I had forgotten to tune back up. I'm glad it was tuned down though. I started humming a melody over top that I thought to be equally compelling, tension building ... not many words yet on the verses ... just ideas and sounds. However, the chorus seemed to just kinda spit out."
"Everybody wants a glimpse of the one that got away / Everybody wants to see you / And everybody wants to be you too / It's funny how they put you down / But now they think you're all right / And everybody loves you now that / You're the one that got away / The one that got away," he wrote in the lyrics of the song's chorus.
"I was inspired by the sweetness of the melody I had found for the chorus, and the words were just there," says Pahanish. "'Everybody wants a glimpse of the one that got away' ... I kept playing the riff over and over and thinking about the day -- the people at the diner, how they looked at the stars, how at one time many of them had dreams, and now have abandoned dreams of getting out and becoming something more ... being famous."
"I continued onto the show that night, and I was so excited about the song I had started writing, that I played it that evening before it was complete," continues Pahanish. "I just started rattling off stuff about this local pizza joint I flashed on in West Virginia where all the high school kids would hang, and the local theaters in a small town I used to live ... a lot of mumbling as well, however, the sentiment and idea were there that night. Regardless of what words I used that night, the vibe was there and the song translated. People were asking for the song after the show -- 'The One That Got Away' -- and I had not yet finished it. Kept working it lyrically over the next few weeks, drawing upon semi-autobiographical experience and things I had heard and seen growing up in and around small towns."
"See you were raised in the town / Where the kids hang around the Pizza Hut parking lot / Everybody talks a lot, no one likes to do, no / And all the cub scout leaders at the local theaters / Said you couldn't sing a song that well / You told 'em all to go to hell / And went out on your own," the song goes on in the second verse.
The song was eventually completed, and it landed in the hands of McGraw, who recorded the tune for his 'Emotional Traffic' album, which is set to hit stores next week. For those who want to purchase a copy of 'The One That Got Away,' visit McGraw's official iTunes here.