About the song

George Strait’s early masterpiece, “If You’re Thinking You Want a Stranger (There’s One Coming Home)” – a song that perfectly encapsulates the heartache and hope often found within the heart of country music. Released in 1982 as part of Strait’s debut album, Strait Country, this track showcases the iconic singer’s signature smooth baritone and a narrative that tugs at the heartstrings.

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The song opens with a keen eye for detail. We hear the narrator pick up on the subtle signs of a woman’s discontent – a shift in her demeanor, a hint of longing in her eyes. Strait sings, “Lately you’ve been showing all the signs/ Of a woman with someone else on her mind.”

This isn’t a situation born out of malice; the lyrics acknowledge the narrator’s own failings, “It’s not your fault, it’s the nights I’ve left you alone.” There’s a sense of regret, a realization that his inattentiveness has driven a wedge between him and his love.

But If You’re Thinking You Want a Stranger isn’t simply a lament. It’s a desperate plea for a second chance. The chorus explodes with a potent mix of urgency and promises, “If you’re thinkin’ you want a stranger, I’ll soon be there/ You’re gonna see a change in me, this time I swear.”

Strait’s voice conveys a sincerity that’s impossible to ignore. He details the ways he’ll transform – “No more late nights, comin’ in at daylight, and no more doin’ you wrong.” The lyrics paint a picture of a man determined to win back his love’s trust, a man ready to rewrite their story.

The desperation takes a more tender turn in the second verse. The narrator reveals his attempts to rekindle the romance. He speaks of buying “a silk gown and perfume today.” These gestures, though seemingly materialistic, represent a genuine effort to understand his partner’s desires. He even takes the thoughtful step of calling ahead, “Oh, I called to ask you to put some soft music on.” These details showcase a man not just acknowledging his mistakes, but actively working to rectify them.

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If You’re Thinking You Want a Stranger is a powerful ballad, a testament to Strait’s storytelling prowess. It’s a song that captures the complexities of love – the hurt, the regret, and ultimately, the unwavering hope for redemption.

It’s a classic country tune that continues to resonate with listeners today, a reminder that sometimes, a heartfelt apology and a commitment to change can be the key to winning back a love that’s on the brink.