Story Behind the Song: Travis Tritt, ‘Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)’
When Travis Tritt wrote "Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)," which he released as a single in 1991, he was still dreaming of being a country star, while working a regular job and mourning the demise of his second marriage. Little did he know that the song, which he played in concert on a whim one night, would become one of the biggest hits of his career. Below, Tritt recounts to The Boot the day that he wrote "Here's a Quarter," in his own words.
That was a song that I had written years before I ever came to Nashville. I was going through a divorce, and I had been married twice before I ever was signed to a record deal. Before the audiences out there ever knew anything about me, I was divorced twice, and the second divorce came about just prior to signing my record contract with Warner Bros. back in the late ‘80s.
I was at home one day. My wife had moved out in the middle of the day, while I was at work, and I came home to basically an empty house. I thought I had been robbed: The front door was standing wide open, the back door was standing wide open, and you could see right through the house, and everything that was in it was basically gone. I was sitting in my living room, in one of the one or two pieces of furniture that she had left behind, and there was a knock on the door. It was from the sheriff’s department: They were serving me with divorce papers.
I sat down, and I started reading through the divorce papers, and [as] I was reading through them, the phone rang, and it was my soon-to-be ex-wife, calling me to, basically, say, “You know, maybe I rushed into this too quickly. Maybe we need to think about working it out.” I’m reading through all of the divorce papers as she’s talking to me. So after that conversation, I sat there and thought to myself, "Do I really want to consider getting back together at this point?" A lot of water had gone under the bridge, obviously, between when we got together and now. And, "Do I really want to consider reconciliation at this point?" And that’s when the lyrics came to me for “Here’s a Quarter": “You say you were wrong for leaving me alone / And you’re lonesome and you’re scared / You say you’d be happy if you could just come back home / Well here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.”
I wrote that song in about 15 minutes; it just came to me. It’s a song I wrote never considering to release it. I wrote it because it was a personal song for me to pick me up whenever I would get depressed over my personal situation.
One night, when I was just getting started, I was onstage at Billy Bob’s as an opening act, and something said in the back of my mind, “Play that song.” And so I did it acoustically, and, immediately, the response from the audience was just phenomenal, and I knew we had something that, if we ever decided to release it, was going to be a hit.
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