Blake Shelton, ‘God Gave Me You’ — Story Behind the Song
“It’s no secret, Miranda and I have had our ups and downs over the years, and this was definitely at a low point at our relationship,” Blake Shelton tells The Boot about the day he first heard the song ‘God Gave Me You.’ “I was flipping through stations and landed on a contemporary Christian station, and that song came on, and I almost had to pull the truck over. I felt like I was hearing that song at that moment for a reason.”
As fate would have it, the spiritual tune was penned by Dave Barnes, another Nashville-based singer-songwriter, who released the song as the lead single from his 2010 album, ‘What We Want, What We Get.’ Barnes shared with The Boot the story behind his very first country radio single.
I had the guitar line and hook and loved it, but I couldn’t really come up with anything to do with it … I forgot about it for a while. Then I got together with a buddy of mine, Matt Wertz, to write some songs, and I found that idea again and showed it to him, and he loved it.
Unfortunately for Wertz, inspiration didn’t strike that afternoon. It wasn’t until after Barnes left that session that ‘God Gave Me You’ was written.
I got home that afternoon and immediately wrote the song. The title came to me on a trip to London, randomly enough, so I just added the music, and it was off to the races.
Despite the song’s success, Wertz assures there is no animosity between the longtime friends, although there may be a little playful jab every now and then.
I had to call and tell Matt I had written a song around the idea, which he was totally fine with, even though he had asked me to hold the idea for him. He still messes with me about that. When I heard that it was making [Shelton's] record, I was so excited! Especially in how it got there: It wasn’t pitched, it was found. That’s the best because the artist has such a different attachment that way.
The fact that he heard it on the radio and wanted to record it because it meant something to him and Miranda blows my mind. It’s still hard to believe it’s on the radio. Writing so much on Music Row and knowing the process of how songs get cut and picked for radio, it’s amazing to me that ‘God Gave Me You’ made it through the whole process. I’m so thankful!
The pop songwriter, who also claims credit for the Billy Currington fan favorite ‘Until You’ admits to setting his sights on the Nashville country songwriting community.
I have been writing a lot on Music Row in the last couple of years. I’m trying to get more songs recorded by country artists, both songs from my previous albums and songs that I’m writing with other Nashville writers. It’s a really fun challenge and new discipline.
Barnes also reveals he has a country music “bucket list” when it comes to other artists performing his songs.
I’d love to hear Gary Levox [of Rascal Flatts] singing something I had a part of writing. Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, the list goes on and on. There are so many talented country singers out there today.