‘Making Memories of Us’ by Keith Urban: How an Already Famous Song Became a No. 1 Hit

by Suzanne Halliburton

If listening to Keith Urban sing “Making Memories of Us” causes you to melt at the knees, knowing the romantic back story could cause you to swoon.

Urban’s cover of the zoomed to No. 1 back in 2005. He included it on his album, “Be Here.” By then, American fans adored Urban, the Australian heartthrob. He’d already released “Somebody Like You.” And he posed for Playgirl.

Now, with “Making Memories of Us” Urban had the perfect love song.

Before Keith Urban Released It, Rodney Crowell Wrote The Song For His Wife

Rodney Crowell wrote the song. But Tracy Byrd, a Texan, recorded it first in 2003. Then Crowell put his personal stamp on it in 2004. He and Vince Gill also performed in a group they called “The Notorious Cherry Bombs.”

Crowell formed the group in 1980. But they reunited in 2003 to record an album called “The Notorious Cherry Bombs.” The biggest hit off the album was “It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long.” The lyrics are quite something. Check them out here.

Now, here’s the story on “Making Memories of Us” that unfolded long before Keith Urban made the song famous.

Crowell first shared the anecdote with Country Weekly. The perfect love song literally was a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift.

Crowell got a call on Valentine’s Day from his daughter, Caitlin Crowell. She is one of his children with then wife, Roseanne Cash. But Caitlin was calling Dad to ask if he’d remembered to buy a gift for her stepmother, Claudia Church. Crowell and Church, a former actress/model, married in 1998. Meanwhile, Keith Urban, who made people love the song, was just getting established in the United States.

Sure enough, Crowell forgot it was Valentine’s. He had no gift, at least not a material one.

Instead, Crowell leaned on his God-given gifts for writing music. He told Country Weekly:

“It was too late to get reservations at a nice restaurant. And rushing out to get flowers just wouldn’t do. So I decided to go downstairs to my studio and write her a song.”

Perfect Love Song Took Two Hours To Write

He said the song took him all of two hours to write. The best sorts of love songs flow free and easy from the fingers.

“I don’t usually write that fast,” Crowell said. “I usually do a lot of revisions. But I sat down and asked, ‘What does Claudia mean to me?’ I decided to writer her a letter in song. Once I finished, I realized I should’ve written this about her a long time ago.”

The last verse of the song may be the best.

“And I’m gonna make you a promise. If there’s life after this. I’m gonna be there to meet you with a warm, wet kiss. And I’m gonna love you like nobody loves you. And I’ll earn your trust. Makin’ memories of us.”

Urban’s rendition of the song spent five weeks at No. 1 on the country charts. The director of the song’s video filmed it in black and white. In the video, Urban is casual, dressed in jeans with his shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbow. He’s barefooted. Urban lights several candles on the night stand. He lies back, plays his guitars, then writes the song’s words down in a journal.

So here’s Urban’s version of a perfect love song. He often says he wished he’d written it. Thank you, Rodney Crowell, for bringing it to us.