Writing and composition
In 2010, Underwood was asked to write a theme song for the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. She then wrote three songs in four days with songwriters Hillary Lindsey and David Hodges. The songs written were "Distant Lullaby", "There's a Place for Us" and "See You Again". The three thought "See You Again" would be chosen by the producers, but Underwood revealed that "they didn't pass on any of them — I don't want to be like, 'They said they didn't want it'. But just in what they were looking for for the movie, they went with a different [song]." "There's a Place for Us" was eventually recorded and released for the film in November of that year, while the other two songs remained unreleased. The following month, Underwood wrapped her Play On Tour, and started to work on her fourth studio album, then untitled. Sony Music Nashville chairman/CEO Gary Overton said that the singer "took nearly a year to compile and record the songs." The singer decided to include "See You Again" on the album, explaining that "I don't like too many sad songs on an album, but this one takes a sad subject and puts this faith-filled, positive spin on it." Regarding the lyrical content of the song, Underwood said:
"It just takes a positive spin on moving on out of this life, on death. And it’s not the end. In my mind and in my faith and in what I believe, there is a Heaven, there is a God. And we’re gonna be there someday. Of course, it’s very sad to lose someone on Earth. But having that faith that you’re going to see them again is such an amazing thing, such a comforting thing, such a happy thing."
Megan Pacella of Taste of Country noted that, despite the lyrics dealing with "the painful theme of death, the star finds comfort in the words she sings." Underwood sings during the first verse: "Said goodbye, turned around / And you were gone, gone, gone / Faded into the setting sun, slipped away / But I won’t cry / Cause I know I’ll never be lonely / For you are the stars to me / You are the light I follow," and follows into the chorus: "I will see you again, oh / This is not where it ends / I will carry you with me, oh / ’Til I see you again". The final version of the song was produced by Mark Bright, who drew inspiration from 1980s music. Underwood recalled Bright adding an effect to her vocals similar to the ones used in Def Leppard songs: "That was a big thing with [the band], all of that hollow vocal sound. And I liked it." Bright used a similar effect on "Blown Away", the title track from the album. Melodically, "See You Again" is written in the key of A♭ major, and is set in the common time with a moderate tempo of 100 beats per minute. Underwood's voice spans from the low note of F3 to the high note of D♭5.
- Pacella, Megan (August 16, 2013). "Carrie Underwood, 'See You Again' – Lyrics Uncovered". Retrieved April 20, 2014.
- "Distant Lullaby (Legal Title)". BMI. Carrie Okie Music. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
- Daw, Robbie (November 10, 2010). "Carrie Underwood Previews New 'Narnia' Track "There's A Place For Us"". Idolator. Buzz Media. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
- Mansfield, Brian (April 30, 2012). "Carrie Underwood: 'Blown Away' and crossing over". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
- "Carrie Underwood "See You Again" Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved April 20, 2014.