About the song

Ah, yes, George Strait’s “I Can’t See Texas From Here”. This unassuming song, nestled amongst the honky-tonk anthems of Strait’s early 1982 album “Strait From The Heart”, holds a special place in the hearts of country music aficionados for a multitude of reasons.

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Firstly, it carries the distinction of being the very first song Strait ever wrote and recorded for a full-length album. This fact lends a certain raw honesty to the lyrics, a vulnerability that resonates with listeners. We hear the nascent voice of a soon-to-be legend grappling with themes of homesickness and a yearning for familiar ground.

Secondly, the song is a masterclass in understatement. There are no dramatic pronouncements of longing, no weeping steel guitar solos. Instead, Strait paints a picture of quiet desperation with a simple, conversational lyric. Lines like “I come and go as I please / From down here, up North and in-between” establish the singer as a restless soul, a man forever on the move. But the following line, “But baby it’s a shame ’cause I always feel the same,” reveals the hollowness beneath the surface. This effortless weaving of movement and stagnation creates a powerful tension within the song.

Furthermore, “I Can’t See Texas From Here” cleverly avoids the well-worn trope of simply praising the Lone Star State. Strait doesn’t spend the song extolling the virtues of bluebonnets and wide-open spaces. Instead, his focus is purely on the emotional connection he has with his home. The titular line, delivered with a hint of resignation, speaks volumes about the ache in his heart. It’s a sentiment anyone who has ever felt the pang of displacement can relate to.

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It’s also worth noting the song’s significance in the trajectory of Strait’s career. “Strait From The Heart” was a critical and commercial success, establishing him as a rising star within the burgeoning neotraditionalist movement. “I Can’t See Texas From Here” perfectly embodies the movement’s core tenets: a focus on clear vocals, tight instrumentation, and lyrics that resonated with everyday experiences. The song’s success helped pave the way for Strait’s future dominance of the country music charts.

So, when you listen to “I Can’t See Texas From Here”, take a moment to appreciate its simplicity, its emotional depth, and its historical significance. It’s a testament to the power of a well-crafted song, a song that speaks to the universal human experience of longing for home.

Video

Lyrics

“I Can’t See Texas From Here”

I come and go as I please.
From down here, up North and inbetween,
But baby it’s a shame ’cause I always feel the same
When I can’t see Texas from here.

[Chorus:]
I can’t see Texas from here.
No matter how I try, it makes me want to cry.
So if you see me lookin’ down,
I’m tryin’ not to show this frown
‘Cause I can’t see Texas from here.

I can’t say I don’t like Tennessee.
The people here have all been good to me.
So please don’t take offense if I start to get intense
Just ’cause I can’t see Texas from here.

[Chorus 2x]

‘Cause I can’t see Texas, I can’t see Texas,
I can’t see Texas from here.