Rosanne Cash and Rodney Crowell wrote the song “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me” back when they were still married. After they split up, it’s inevitable to think that the song somewhat hinted their impending breakup. Just take a look at the lyrics, it’s very clear that these recount a love story. And, the relationship was in trouble as the singer says:
Somebody told you I was so cold and mean(who was that talking)
Somebody wants you and don’t want me in between(she better start walkin’)
Somebody hurt you but baby she wasn’t meIt’s the last chance for a romance tonight(I don’t why you don’t want me)
There’ll be no next time if you won’t be mine tonight(I don’t why you don’t want me)
I don’t know why you don’t want me?
But wait, Cash who recorded the song in 1985, made it clear that what most of us think is all wrong. In an interview with Nashville songwriter Billy Montana, she shared Cash’s story on how the song came about.
The Story Behind the Song’s Composition
It all started with something that Cash was hoping to get. It’s an award that the singer highly expected to win, to be exact. Unfortunately, the award did not go to her. As a result, Cash was so upset. She went home and vented her frustration on writing a song. The resulting tune was no other than what we all know today as “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me.” As it is a love ballad and given the circumstance surrounding their marital relationship, the song can easily be associated with their breakup. But, the song isn’t actually about them. Rather, it is referring to a CMA Award that Cash failed to acquire.
It was in February 1985 when the song was released as a single from Cash’s album Rhythm and Romance. The song reached No. 1 on the country chart giving Cash her fourth top country single. It remained on the highest spot for a week and was a Top 40 hit for a total of 15 weeks. Three years later, the couple recorded a song called “It’s Such a Small World” which again offered a little reference to their relationship’s future fate. Below is a music video for Rosanne Cash’s top single “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me.”
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rodney crowell, rosanne cash