50: Love, Me

50: Love, Me

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Country Music

Love, Me

Story by Skip Ewing

Song written by Skip Ewing and Max T. Barnes

Recorded by Collin Raye

I was getting ready to go out on tour one year, back in the early 1990s. This was when I had a record deal and was performing quite a bit. I had a girlfriend and she wasn’t able to travel with me, so she wrote me a letter before I left. At the end of the note, she just signed it, “Love, Me.”

I got on the bus and I said to my guitar player at the time, Max T. Barnes, “There is something very intimate about that little act. You can’t sign something to someone as simply, ‘Love, Me’ unless you are really close to that person. I love that. Is there any way we could work this into a song? I think that is something a lot of people could relate to.”

I am someone who looks deeply at relationships and do my best to try to understand the different kinds of energies of love and the feelings between two people in relationships, especially the ones that last a long time. We talked about how certain kinds of love traverse those boundaries that we, as human beings, seem limited to. But love doesn’t recognize any of those limits. It’s as big and wide and deep as it’s able to be.

So Max and I started talking about my grandmother and grandfather. We talked about the brother that he had lost, and other people we had known. We were on our way to Utah to open for the Judds, and we talked all night long.

There are elements of the song that are based on true events. I was very much affected by my grandfather. He was a thoroughbred horse rancher in California — kind of a John Wayne type. He treated my grandmother very well. He always called her “mother.” There was no note left in a tree or anything like that, but there were elements of that kind of love and connectedness in their relationship in the song. The line about “I’ll meet you when my chores are through” is really reflective of their relationship when you consider he lived on a ranch.

When we first wrote it, I was so excited and wanted to record it myself, but I had a producer who told me that it was basically junk. He said, “Nobody wants to hear that. Give me something that will play on the radio and sell records.” For years and years, nobody wanted to record that song. So we just put it away.

Then one day, we got a call and someone told us there was this new artist named Bubba Wray (that was actually the name he was going to record under) and he was interested in “Love, Me.” I said, “Well, does he sing pretty well?” And they said “yes.” So I said, “Well, go ahead and let him cut it.” Bubba turned out to be Collin Raye, of course, and it ended up being a big hit for him. It was the last single released from the first album that he did and they almost didn’t release it. But it hit #1 and stayed there for several weeks and was nominated for Song of the Year.

Love, Me

I read a note my grandma wrote back in nineteen twenty-three.

Grandpa kept it in his coat, and he showed it once to me.

He said, “Boy, you might not understand, but a long, long time ago,

Grandma’s daddy didn’t like me none, but I loved your grandma so.”

We had this crazy plan to meet and run away together.

Get married in the first town we came to, and live forever.

But nailed to the tree where we were supposed to meet, instead

I found this letter, and this is what it said:

“If you get there before I do, don’t give up on me.

I’ll meet you when my chores are through;

I don’t know how long I’ll be.

But I’m not gonna let you down, darling wait and see.

And between now and then, till I see you again,

I’ll be loving you.

Love, me.”

I read those words just hours before my grandma passed away,

In the doorway of a church where me and grandpa stopped to pray.

I know I’d never seen him cry in all my fifteen years

But as he said these words to her, his eyes filled up with tears.

If you get there before I do, don’t give up on me.

I’ll meet you when my chores are through;

I don’t know how long I’ll be.

But I’m not gonna let you down, darling wait and see.

And between now and then, till I see you again,

I’ll be loving you.

Love, me.

Between now and then, till I see you again,

I’ll be loving you.

Love, me.

More stories from our partners