How Did They Write That? Brantley Gilbert’s “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do”
Written by: Brantley Gilbert & Jim McCormick
Recorded by: Brantley Gilbert
Peak Chart Position:No. 1 Billboard Country
Walk us through a typical day in the life of Jim McCormick.
If it’s a weekday, I’m usually up by 6:30 with coffee and reading. The phone will start ringing and emails coming in a little while, and I like to get a few things done beforehand. Then I’m headed to the Row for a day of songwriting. Maybe there’s a demo session or a meeting with my publisher or manger in the late afternoon. And I like to take a long walk in the evening to clear my head and relax.
When and where did you and Brantley write “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do”?
We were in the Warner Chappell building in one of their writers’ rooms. Brantley and I were talking about a thing that he was going through with a woman, and the song came out of that. I could relate — who can’t? — so it was really about telling the truth of that situation, how it feels to be inside it. And Brantley knew exactly what he wanted to say about what he was feeling at the time.
How much or little did you edit it, during or afterward? Were there any phrases or words you can remember that were especially tough to make a final decision on?
I really don’t remember doing multiple drafts on the song, though we may have. It was pretty painless in that regard, which is a blessing because that’s not always the case.
What do you most enjoy about writing songs in general? What do you most like about writing with Brantley?
There’s not a thing about writing that I don’t love, from coming up with ideas through first drafts and rewriting to demoing. Plus, writing songs is the cheapest shrink you could have; when you’ve got co-writers like I’m lucky enough to have in my life, such as Brantley, you can be yourself and sometimes work things out you didn’t even know needed working out. As for writing with Brantley, it’s always about getting to the heart of the matter, the truth, and having a good time doing it.
Any words of wisdom or advice for aspiring or newly professional songwriters?
Show up. And keep showing up. You never know on what day you’re going to write the biggest song of your life. And read, read, read.