It was 22 years ago today that Grammy-winning country band The Dixie Chicks — who are now going by The Chicks — released their hit single “You Were Mine.” And there’s an interesting story behind that song.
Sisters with a Story
Dixie Chick members Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer are sisters whose maiden name is Erwin. And according to Songfacts.com, in 1995 they co-wrote the song about their parents’ split and later divorce.
That same year, they asked singer Natalie Maines to try lead vocals on the demo of the song. Maines did such a good job that she wound up replacing the Dixie Chicks’ lead singer up until that point, Laura Lynch.
“You Were Mine” is an original song on the Dixie Chicks’ 1998 album Wide Open Spaces. It ultimately landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
Wide Open Spaces was the group’s major-label debut. It went quadruple platinum less than a year after it was released. In 1999, The Dixie Chicks won a Grammy Award for Best Country Album. Around the same time, they also transitioned from wearing cowgirl outfits to modern clothing and updated their sound.
What They Don’t Talk About
“You Were Mine” was a standout song on that record. The song sprang from the sisters’ observations of a sad story in the lives of their parents.
“Both our parents are very sweep-it-under-the-carpet,” Strayer told Entertainment Weekly. “They know it’s about them, but we never talk about it. They don’t want to bring it up because they’re still weird around each other.”
“My dad doesn’t want to think it’s about him, because it doesn’t make him look very good, and my mom thinks she’s moved on,” she added. “She’ll say something like, ‘You know, I really like that song,’ but we don’t talk about a lot of things.”
Watch the music video here: