66: She Thinks I Still Care

66: She Thinks I Still Care

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Country Music

She Thinks I Still Care

Story by Dickey Lee

Song written by Dickey Lee

Recorded by George Jones, Elvis Presley, Anne Murray and others

I used to tell a story to the audience when I played this song live. I would say, “This song is about the first girl I really fell in love with, and she really messed me up. But things worked out okay because George Jones had a #1 record with it. Then Anne Murray had a big hit with it, and then Elvis had a big hit with it. So I finally made enough money from the song to take out a contract on her and I had her killed.” That usually gets a big laugh.

I had an apartment in Memphis in 1962 and I was going to Memphis State. I met a girl there who I really liked, but it wasn’t reciprocated. Her name was Beverly Meyer. We’re actually still friends today. I don’t see her regularly, but we keep in contact. The funny thing about that song was that I wasn’t thinking about writing a hit at all. I was just writing a song about her.

The first guy I pitched it to was Elvis. I gave it someone who knew Elvis and he said he would make sure he heard it. I didn’t hear anything else about it, so I just forgot about it. Years later, I was talking to Elvis and he was saying how much he liked it and that he wanted to record it one day. I said, “Well, you’re the first guy I sent it to.”

He said, “What are you talking about?”

I said, “Well, I gave it to so-and-so to play for you,” and Elvis said, “Well, that S.O.B. He never let me hear it.” Elvis eventually did cut it, but it was on his last album. He put it out on the Moody Blue album.

George Jones got a copy of it, though, and cut it in 1963. Anne Murray cut it in the 1970s as “He Thinks I Still Care,” and it works just as well.

Years ago, I was told that this had been covered over 500 times and it’s hard to say how many more since then. James Taylor covered it on a live album he did back in the 1990s. When he introduces this song, he says, “When George Jones sings this song, even my dog cries.” James nearly always does his own material so I think I was the only songwriter listed on the album besides him.

I think all songwriters have had their hearts broken at least once. But it sure helps when a broken heart can make you that much money.

She Thinks I Still Care

Just because I asked a friend about her

Just because I spoke her name somewhere

Just because I rang her number by mistake today

She thinks I still care

Just because I haunt the same old places

Where the memory of her lingers everywhere

Just because I’m not the happy guy I used to be

She thinks I still care

But if she’s happy thinkin’ I still need her

Then let that silly notion bring her cheer

But how could she ever be so foolish

Oh where would she get such an idea?

Just because I asked a friend about her

And just because I spoke her name somewhere

Just because I saw her then went all to pieces

She thinks I still care

She thinks I still care

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