About the song

Ah, yes, George Strait’s “I’d Like to Have That One Back”. This 1993 country ballad is a prime example of Strait’s signature style – a simple yet powerful vocal delivery paired with a song that tugs at the heartstrings.

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Released as the second single from his album Easy Come Easy Go, the song became a chart-topper, reaching number 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in February 1994. While Strait is known for his upbeat, danceable tunes, “I’d Like to Have That One Back” showcases his ability to deliver a more introspective and sentimental piece.

The song’s brilliance lies in its relatable story. The lyrics, penned by Aaron Barker, Bill Shore, and Rick West, paint a picture of a man wrestling with regret. We hear him lament a past relationship, one where he clearly messed up. The line “I heard somebody speak her name. They said she still was looking fine” sets the scene – a chance encounter with someone who mentions his ex, sparking a wave of memories and longing.

Strait’s masterful storytelling unfolds throughout the song. He doesn’t dwell on specifics, but the lyrics are rich with emotional imagery. Lines like “Sleep is a stranger to my eyes, and sorry seems to fall so flat” paint a picture of a man haunted by his past mistakes. The constant refrain of the title, “I’d Like to Have That One Back”, is both a plea and a confession – a yearning for a second chance intertwined with the acknowledgment that the past cannot be changed.

Musically, the song complements the emotional core. The tempo is slow and deliberate, with a simple acoustic guitar arrangement that allows Strait’s vocals to take center stage. The subtle addition of a steel guitar adds a touch of country twang, but never overpowers the raw emotion in Strait’s voice.

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“I’d Like to Have That One Back” is more than just a country ballad; it’s a universal story of regret and longing. It’s a song that resonates with anyone who has ever looked back on a relationship and wished they could do things differently. Strait’s masterful delivery and the song’s relatable theme have cemented its place as a classic of the genre, a timeless reminder of the bittersweet nature of love and loss.

Video

Lyrics

“I’d Like To Have That One Back”

I heard somebody speak her name; they said she still was looking fine.
And I could feel that same old flame I once felt when she was mine.
Always thought that I was missin’ something, but I found out much too late.
There’ll never be another who’ll love me that way.[Chorus:]
I’d like to have that one back, never known someone so true.
And a love that pure and sweet is what a man should never lose.
And if my lips had said, “I’m sorry”,
She might have stopped right in her tracks.
But now I find my poor heart saying,
“I’d like to have that one back.”

I can almost see her standing there, tears rollin’ down her face.
As she packed away her memories in that old worn out suitcase.
If I’d only known then what I know now, I’d never opened that door.
Oh they just don’t make hearts like hers anymore.

[Chorus:]
I’d like to have that one back, I’ve never known someone so true.
And a love so pure and sweet is what a man should never lose.
And if my lips had said, “I’m sorry”,
She might have stopped right in her tracks.
I wouldn’t hear my poor heart saying,
“I’d like to have that one back.”

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I wouldn’t hear my poor heart saying,
“I’d like to have that one back.”