“That Wasn’t Me”/Brandi Carlile

I’ve long been an admirer of singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile. She’s a talented musician with a beautiful voice. This past summer, I was driving with the radio on and a new song of hers was being featured. I actually pulled over to the side of the road halfway through the song because the lyrics were such a reflection of everything I was going through at the time that I was overcome with emotion. When the song ended on the radio, I immediately Googled the lyrics on my phone to see if I’d heard her correctly. And then, because that wasn’t enough, I downloaded the song and sat there crying by the side of the road as I played and replayed and again replayed that song.

I went home and copied those lyrics into a card and left it for my husband to read. She sang every word I’d been trying to tell him for months. I was admitting my faults; I was desperately sorry for disappointing my family; I had changed, that people are capable of great change. And, most importantly, “that wasn’t me”.

It didn’t matter. He still left me. How unrealistic of me to think a song would change his mind, would make him finally understand what I’d been trying to verbalize to him for months.

Brandi Carlile, if you’re out there, I would love to know your inspiration for that song. Because I still get teary-eyed when I hear it. Are you bipolar? How could you come up with such heartfelt lyrics if you were not suffering, or writing about someone who is? Because that song mimics my life.

For those of you unfamiliar with the song, here are the lyrics to
“That Wasn’t Me”:

Hang on, just hang on for a minute
I’ve got something to say
I’m not asking you to move on or forget it
But these are better days
To be wrong all along and admit it, is not amazing grace
But to be loved like a song you remember
Even when you’ve changed

Tell me, did I go on a tangent?
Did I lie through my teeth?
Did I cause you to stumble on your feet?
Did I bring shame on my family?
Did it show when I was weak?
Whatever you see, that wasn’t me
That wasn’t me, oh that wasn’t me

When you’re lost you will toss every lucky coin you’ll ever trust
And you’ll hide from your God like he ever turns his back on us
And you will fall all the way to the bottom and land on your own knife
And you’ll learn who you are even if it doesn’t take your life

Tell me, did I go on a tangent?
Did I lie through my teeth?
Did I cause you to stumble on your feet?
Did I bring shame on my family?
Did it show when I was weak?
Whatever you see, that wasn’t me
That wasn’t me, oh that wasn’t me

But I want you to know that you’ll never be alone
I wanna believe, do I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet
When you fall I will get you on your feet
Do I spend time with my family?
Did it show when I was weak?
When that’s what you see, that will be me
That will be me, that will be me
That will be me