Normally, Taylor Swift writes songs about her exes. But in Tim McGraw‘s case, she wrote about one of her musical influences. Stopping by the Bobby Bones Show, McGraw discussed what it felt like to have a Swift song named after him and an awkward encounter at the CMA Music Festival.
“Oddly enough, I heard it before she put it out,” McGraw recalled. “I heard the demo of it because somebody else played it for me. I can’t remember exactly how that happened. But when I first heard the record, and it came out and she blew up, my first thought was let me reevaluate here.”
Swift wrote the song “Tim McGraw” when she was a freshman in high school. Swift realized she and her senior boyfriend would break up when he went to college. Despite growing apart, they would always have the memories of listening to Tim McGraw’s music together.
Swift released the song in 2006 as her debut single. It spend weeks on the music charts and sold over 1 million copies.
The song made Tim McGraw question his career trajectory.
The song made McGraw have a crisis, as he wondered if he was growing out of style.
“What does this mean? Does this mean I’m done? Is this like out the door, out the door?” McGraw said. “But then someone told me, she was 13 and wrote it in math class. That’s alright, I can live with that. It’s not like a 35-year-old artist saying, ‘I used to listen to Tim McGraw’ and I’m done.”
McGraw also recalled Swift singing the song at the 2009 CMA Music Festival. He described the experience as awkward because all of the cameras focused on him.
“That was awkward,” he told Bobby Bones. “Then she came over and started singing right to me. I love Taylor, she was awesome. But it was awkward. Just because I didn’t know what to do.”