May 23.2014 – The Story Behind “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood

Hear the story behind the song here!

May 23.2014 – The story behind the Carrie Underwood hit “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood.

Before He Cheats” is a song written by Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear

Tomkins and Kear told The Boot the story of the song:

Chris Tompkins: “At the time, Gretchen Wilson was going in to record. After her first record, everybody wanted to have a song on that second record, and I was trying to think of edgy stuff. I never would’ve thought that Carrie Underwood would record it! I went into my office that morning and began what I’d typed earlier. And without even talking about it, Josh just sang that chorus line, ‘Maybe next time, he’ll think before he cheats …’ So we just started talking about it from there, how to match that first verse, and started thinking of some quirky stuff like that. And like good songs always do, the song kind of wrote itself from there. Usually a song takes a couple of writing sessions, four or five hours each – and talking and goofing off, having coffee. But this was such a quick write. It took about two hours. It was the first song I wrote in my new house! typing lyrics… not even picking up a guitar or a pen or anything… and I typed up that first verse. I’d just moved into my new house, and Josh had come over, and we were just looking for ideas. I played him.”

Josh Kear: “Chris had called me halfway through a day I actually had off, and said he had a piece of something and wanted me to come over. So I dropped what I was doing and went over. He played me those first few lines, ‘Right now, he’s prob’ly slow dancing with a bleach-blonde tramp …’ And when he hit the line, ‘she can’t shoot whiskey,’ I was completely hooked! Funny thing is, I used to always say, the first woman that ever gets really pissed at me and is willing to break my car windows and fill my car up with wet concrete is the one I would marry! I used to joke about that for years, and it’s nothing more than a joke! But when we were writing this song, I thought, “Wow! If she knew this was going on inside the bar – which was what we already had laid out in that first verse – how would she react to that?” And that’s when we thought, let’s actually let her get pissed! And the chorus is every bit of that. It’s a lot of stuff that most people would say you can’t put in a song, but we did it anyway.
When we were writing it, we were actually trying to keep it humorous, but when Carrie got hold of it, she just did it so well, and really made it her own. We expected it would be a little more light-hearted, but when we heard it, we thought, wow, she really drove it home! We couldn’t be more grateful to Carrie – for just wailin’!”

This song won the trophy for Single Of The Year at the 2007 Country Music Association Awards. In addition, Carrie Underwood also won the award for Female Vocalist Of The Year.

The song won for Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance at the ceremony, 2008, which is odd considering the song came out in 2005. According to Grammy rules, however, some songs are still eligible for awards if they were released in the preceding eligibility year but “achieved prominence” in the current one.

The song holds the record for the longest ascent to the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100. It took 38 weeks to climb to the top tier in 2006-07.

The song is Underwood’s most successful single, it was the first country song to sell over 2 million digitally,and has sold 3,912,000 digital downloads as of January 2014, making it the third best-selling song by an American Idol contestant in the United States (behindPhillip Phillips’ Home and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”).

Before He Cheats achieved number one status on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts the weeks of November 11.2006 through December 9th, five consecutive weeks.

LYRICS: Written by Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear
Right now he’s probably slow dancing with a bleached-blond tramp,
and she’s probably getting frisky…
right now, he’s probably buying her some fruity little drink
’cause she can’t shoot whiskey…
Right now, he’s probably up behind her with a pool stick,
showing her how to shoot a combo…

And he don’t know…

That I dug my key into the side
of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive,
carved my name into his leather seats…
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires…
Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.

Right now, she’s probably up singing some
white-trash version of Shania karaoke.
Right now, she’s probably saying, “I’m drunk”
and he’s a-thinking that he’s gonna get lucky,
Right now, he’s probably dabbing on
3 dollars worth of that bathroom Polo*…

Oh, and he don’t know…

That I dug my key into the side
of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive,
carved my name into his leather seats,
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires…
Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.

I might’ve saved a little trouble for the next girl,
’cause the next time that he cheats…
Oh, you know it won’t be on me!

No… not on me

‘Cause I dug my key into the side
of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive,
carved my name into his leather seats…
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires…
Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.

Oh, maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats…

Oh, before he cheats… oh, oh.

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

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