"Best Days of Your Life" is a song written and performed by American country artist Kellie Pickler, and co-written by Taylor Swift. It was released on December 1, 2008 as the second single from her self-titled second album. Swift also provides background vocals on the song. The song is about a narrator explaining how her former boyfriend cheated on her and moved on to a new girlfriend to start a family with, wishing them well on their new life but says that the new girl won't top what they previously once had before.
The song received negative reviews from critics who panned the lyricism and melody for being nondescript. "Best Days of Your Life" peaked at number 9 on the BillboardHot Country Songs chart, Pickler's highest charting country single as of 2015. It also charted at number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting sales of over one million units in that country. The song also charted in Canada, peaking at number 99 on the Canadian Hot 100.
The accompanying music video for the song, directed by Roman White, features Pickler's ex-boyfriend having a miserable life with his new girlfriend and misses being with Pickler instead. Pickler debuted the song with a performance on November 12, 2008 on the 2008 CMA Awards. She also performed the song on American Idol, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the 2009 CMT Music Awards.
"Best Days of Your Life" is an up-tempo country pop song mostly backed by electric guitar. Its narrator tells about a former boyfriend who cheated on her and is going to get married and build a family with the lover. Although, she wishes them to be happy and have a nice life, she says that he's already had the best days of his life with her (the narrator), and the new partner can never top it.
She also feels sorry for his new girlfriend, because she has the concept that a cheater will always be a cheater, and while she is getting the prizes of her future, all the lover gets is the cheater boyfriend.
In an interview, Pickler has said that the circumstances portrayed in the song are based on a real-life experience that she herself went through. Pickler stated that when she was on Brad Paisley's Bonfires & Amplifiers Tour, she discovered her boyfriend cheating, and told it to her friend and fellow country singer Taylor Swift, who had the idea of writing a song about the experience.
Kevin J. Coyne of Country Universe described the chorus as strong and compared it to the catchiness of Faith Hill's "This Kiss". But, he described the verses unfavorably: "Pickler sounds strained, there’s no discernible melody and the lyrics are no more memorable than the music backing them up." Jim Malec of The 9513 gave the song a thumbs down, saying that "[The song] isn’t funny, nor poignant, nor empowering. It is solely, and wholly, and unapologetically concerned only with expressing its fury. “Best Days of Your Life” is essentially four minutes of Pickler venting, unbridled and unartful."
The song debuted at number 56 on the U.S. BillboardHot Country Songs chart for the week of November 20, 2008. The song has become her biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100, debuting at number 50 following the song's performance on American Idol. This song has been Pickler's most successful single to date and her first Top Ten hit on the country charts, as well as her first single to surpass 1,000,000 legal downloads, achieving Platinum certification in June 2010. After spending nearly 40 weeks on the country chart, it reached a peak of number nine in August 2009.
The music video was shot on February 26, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee, and is directed by Roman White. It was released on March 25, 2009 to members of Pickler's official fanclub, and then to CMT on March 28, 2009.
In the video, Pickler goes out to the movies at the Belcourt Theater with her friends for her birthday and sees her boyfriend cheating on her (played by Cortney Buczkowski), so she leaves. Later on, he is completely unhappy with his new life and has many flashbacks of him and Pickler. One day while he and his girlfriend are walking through Hillsboro Village, she reveals that she is pregnant; he runs across the street and tries to make it up to Pickler, who is out shopping with Taylor Swift, but he is hit by a bus and put in the hospital. Later, Pickler visits him and signs her name on his body cast and leaves. Throughout this, Pickler is shown singing alongside Swift and her band, with Pickler's ex watching through his television set.