Tim McGraw’s ‘Something Like That’: Story Behind the Song

by Halle Ames

You just can’t help but sing along to Tim McGraw’s 1999 classic song, ‘Something Like That,’ but do you know the story behind the song?

Even though we were young when the song graced our ear, we pretended McGraw was singing it to us as we pranced around the house in our jean skirt and red lipstick. A girl can dream.

Break Down the Lyrics

You could have probably guessed, but the song is about a boy’s (played by McGraw) experience at a county fair as a teenager. It was there that the 17-year-old boy met his first love.

“It was Labor Day weekend. I was 17. I bought a Coke and some gasoline. And I drove out to the county fair. When I saw her for the first time, she was standing there in the ticket line. And it all started right then and there. Oh, a sailor sky made a perfect sunset. And that’s the day I’ll never forget.”

Tim McGraw then describes spotting a pretty little thing, while he looks like a slob. He did turn on the charm, however, which ended up paying off with a kiss. Lucky girl.

“I had a barbecue stain on my white t-shirt. She was killing me in that miniskirt. Skippin’ rocks on the river by the railroad tracks. She had a suntan line and red lipstick. I worked so hard for that first kiss. And a heart don’t forget something like that.”

When Tim McGraw was 22 (in the song), he headed to the place where everyone ends up one time or another for “Parti Gras”– New Orleans. While on the plane, he spots the old fling and who both instantly recognize one another.

“Well, it was five years later, on a southbound plane, I was headed down to New Orleans. To meet some friends of mine for the Mardi Gras. When I heard a voice from the past, comin’ from a few rows back. And when I looked, I couldn’t believe just what I saw. She said, “I bet you don’t remember me.” And I said, “Only every other memory.”

Finally, Tim McGraw gives us wise advice that while time can dull a feeling down, the memory of young love will still send sparks.

“Like an old photograph. Time can make a feeling fade. But the memory of a first love never fades away.”

Gosh, truly a classic.

Tim McGraw ‘Something Like That’

‘Something Like That’ was an instant hit that Nielsen BDS, a company that tracks radio and cable music channel airplay, revealed was the most played single in any genre in the 2000s. It also was the top song on Billboard’s Country singles chart for five weeks. In addition, the tune is the second single on Tim McGraw’s fifth album, A Place in the Sun.

In March, during the “Living Room Concert For America,” McGraw performed “Something Like That” virtually from his pool diving board. He was the only country artist to perform. The concert, which was hosted by Elton John, encouraged people to stay home while also raising money for charity.