Jimmy Wayne, ‘Do You Believe Me Now’ — Story Behind the Song
Jimmy Wayne released 'Do You Believe Me Now,' the title track from his August 2008 album, as a single in March of the same year. The song became his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, his third Top 10 single and his first Top 40 tune since 'Paper Angels' in 2004. Tim Johnson, who co-wrote 'Do You Believe Me Now' with Joe West and Dave Pahanish, tells The Boot about how the hit came to be.
Joe and Dave called me and said they had a melody that they needed lyrics for. It was basically a guitar-vocal, with Dave singing, "na na na na na, yeah." "Yeah" was the only word I kept, so I guess you'd have to say I didn't write every word of the song! That was the first time I'd done anything like that -- write lyrics to someone else's melody. I spent about $100 at the coffee shop while I was writing it because it took me several months.
The music tells a story when you first hear it. There is angst in the melody, so right away I knew there would be tension in the lyrics. When you hear the first two chords of a song, you can tell if it's going to be about love or love lost. The melody speaks to the lyrics.
A songwriter is like a painter: You don't create the ocean and horizon, but you observe and look through the lens. I had a friend who was going through the scenarios that are in the song, so the lyrics are based on a true story that I had observed. I was careful not to change the phrasing or the melody, because Dave and Joe had already written the cadence of the song.
It is very special for me to be a part of this song. This is the first No. 1 hit for Dave and Joe, and it's also one of their first cuts. It's also the first No. 1 hit for Jimmy's label, Valory Records. Jimmy had not had a hit in five years, but when I heard his version of this song, I felt that his interpretation was awesome.