“You Were Mine”
Written by Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer
#1 (2 weeks)
March 13 – March 20, 1999
Radio & Records
#1 (2 weeks)
March 5 – March 12, 1999
The Chicks earn their third consecutive No. 1 single.
The Road to No. 1
The momentum of the Chicks was relentless by this point in 1999, with their Wide Open Spaces album winning the Best Country Album Grammy and its sales nearing five million. “You Were Mine” followed “There’s Your Trouble” and the title track to the No. 1 slot on both charts.
The No. 1
Founding Chicks members Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer penned this moving ballad about divorce. It was inspired by their parents splitting up.
That perspective gives added potency to the bridge: “I can give you two good reasons to show you love’s not blind. She’s two and he’s four and you know they adore you. So how can I tell them you’ve changed your mind?”
That’s some Tammy Wynette “Lonely Christmas Call”-level guilt tripping right there, and it’s fascinating to contrast it with their most recent work, which explored divorce from the perspective of the parents.
Like so much of Wide Open Spaces, “You Were Mine” has been eclipsed many times by the Chicks themselves, so it sounds a little rudimentary these days. Judged on its own merits, however, it’s still a compelling ballad that was the first of their hits to hint at the emotional depths they’d reach in the years ahead.
The Road From No. 1
The Chicks finished out Wide Open Spaces at country radio with the Joy Lynn White cover “Tonight the Heartache’s On Me,” which went top ten. They then previewed their second Maines-led studio album, Fly, with the top five single “Ready to Run.” We’ll see the Chicks several times in the 2000s, starting with the second single from that album.
“You Were Mine” gets a B+.
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