Story Behind the Song: Brandy Clark, ‘Who You Thought I Was’
On Friday (Jan. 10), Brandy Clark shared her brand-new single, "Who You Thought I Was." The first taste of her upcoming album, Your Life is a Record, the song speaks to wistful hindsight after the end of a relationship, looking back at all the things that could have gone differently.
At a recent album preview event, Clark explained that she first got the idea to write "Who You Thought I Was" after legendary singer-songwriter John Prine told a joke onstage at the Americana Honors & Awards ceremony. To learn what the joke was -- and why it affected Clark so powerfully -- read on for the story behind the song, told in the artist's own words.
I was at the Americana Awards a couple years ago, and John Prine walked out, and everybody stood up and clapped for a long time. I think in an attempt not to get emotional, he made a joke of it. He said, "I'm John Prine, but I'd like to go back to being who you thought I was."
And when he said that, I cried, and I put it in my phone because I knew it was an idea. But I cried because I'd felt that way. Like, "Man, I'd love to be who somebody thought I was," you know? It can really be anything. I'd like to be who my dogs think I am, on most days. But yeah -- it started with John Prine and ended with me. The next day, we went in and wrote it.