You Were Mine

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"You Were Mine"
Dixie-Chicks-You-Were-Mine.jpg
Single by Dixie Chicks
from the album Wide Open Spaces
Released December 7, 1998
Recorded August 1997
Genre Country
Length 3:37
Label Monument
Songwriter(s) Emily Erwin
Martie Seidel
Producer(s) Blake Chancey
Paul Worley
Dixie Chicks singles chronology
"Wide Open Spaces"
(1998)
"You Were Mine"
(1998)
"Tonight the Heartache's on Me"
(1999)
"Wide Open Spaces"
(1998)
"You Were Mine"
(1998)
"Tonight the Heartache's on Me"
(1999)
Music video
"You Were Mine" at CMT.com

"You Were Mine" is a song recorded by American country music group Dixie Chicks. It was released in December 1998 as the fourth single from the album Wide Open Spaces.[1] The song hit number one on the U.S. Country singles chart, spending two weeks there in March 1999.[1] It also placed 34th on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop singles chart, and reached third place on Canada's country music chart.

History[edit]

The song was written in 1995 by two of the founders of the original Dixie Chicks band, the Erwin sisters,[2] who were not strangers to writing music and performing (they are now known as Martie Maguire and Emily Robison). Robison wrote most of the song, and Maguire supplied the bridge. It is a very autobiographical song, about the breakup of Robison's and Maguire's parents and their subsequent divorce. In one interview, when asked about it, Robison said that their parents generally "sweep it under the rug", saying, "They know it's about them, but [whispers] we never talk about it. [laughs] They don't want to bring it up because they're still weird around each other. My dad doesn't want to think it's about him, because it doesn't make him look very good, and my mom thinks she's moved on."[3]

"You Were Mine" was a key factor in the events that brought the Dixie Chicks from near total obscurity to massive commercial success. Based on a recommendation from session musician and producer Lloyd Maines, in the summer of 1995 the Erwin sisters invited Maines' daughter Natalie Maines, to return to her home in Lubbock, Texas to sing the lead vocal on a demo recording of the song, rather than using the Chicks' actual lead vocalist Laura Lynch to sing the part.[2] At the time, the sisters told the other supporting musicians that this was only because Lynch was unavailable due to being out of town on a personal matter.[2] In reality, the recording convinced both Natalie Maines that she would be comfortable singing a more pop and country rock focused format of country material (as opposed to their past purer bluegrass focus),[4] and at the same time, confirmed what both sisters had suspected; that Maines had a powerful versatile voice that could complement their instrumental prowess. It led the sisters to remove Lynch and replace her with Maines.

When recording for the first-Maines-era album Wide Open Spaces began, "You Were Mine" was the only song the band was certain would be included.[4] The recording has a solid country music sound. From the start, until the last strains of the song, Maguire's violin draws out a hushed, somewhat sorrowful tune. A dose of Lloyd Maines' steel guitar in the background – which also helped establish the record's traditional country categorization[4] – and the mixture of Maines' vocals with the sisters' harmony set a tone of loss and regret.

"You Were Mine" was performed during the group's 2000 Fly Tour, where Rolling Stone called Maines' "powerhouse, nail-it-to-the-wall perfect delivery of [the] achingly beautiful weeper" one of the highlights of the show,[5] but was not performed again until the Long Time Gone Tour in 2013.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "You Were Mine" shows the Dixie Chicks checking into the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York. The sisters go up to their rooms looking tired and forlorn, but Maines circles around the revolving door and walks the neighboring Gramercy streets, singing the song. Occasional views of happier couples and families in the hotel are shown. At the end, Maguire is seen playing the song's final phrase on violin.

Chart positions[edit]

"You Were Mine" debuted at number 69 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of December 12, 1998.

Chart (1998-1999) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[6] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 34
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1999) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[9] 15
US Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 11

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dixie Chicks Complete Discography: Wide Open Spaces". The All-Inclusive Dixie Chicks Page. 2000-04-12. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  2. ^ a b c Dickerson, James L. (2000) Dixie Chicks: Down-Home and Backstage. Taylor Trade Publishing, Dallas, Texas. ISBN 0-87833-189-1. p. 81.
  3. ^ Willman, Chris (September 23, 1999). "Girls' Power: The triple CMA winners tell EW Online about mattress dancing and other fun facts of life". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  4. ^ a b c Dickerson, Down-Home and Backstage, p. 98.
  5. ^ Skanse, Richard (2000-07-21). "The Dixie Chicks Take Manhattan". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  6. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 7361." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. March 22, 1999. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  7. ^ "Dixie Chicks – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Dixie Chicks.
  8. ^ "Dixie Chicks – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Dixie Chicks.
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1999". RPM. December 13, 1999. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Best of 1999: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1999. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"No Place That Far"
by Sara Evans
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single

March 13-March 20, 1999
Succeeded by
"How Forever Feels"
by Kenny Chesney
Preceded by
"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
by Mark Chesnutt
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

March 22, 1999
Succeeded by
"Powerful Thing"
by Trisha Yearwood