When Thomas Rhett released the track listing for his latest, Grammy-nominated Life Changes album, fans expected a love song when they saw the "Marry Me" title. Instead, the song, which says, "I'll wear my black suit, black tie, hide out in the back / I'll do a strong shot of whiskey straight out the flask / I'll try to make it through without crying so nobody sees / Yeah, she wanna get married / But she don't wanna marry me," was a heart-breaking ballad, contradicting Rhett's happy life with his wife, Lauren Akins, and two daughters.
But, perhaps surprisingly, Akins, Rhett's high school sweetheart, did inspire the tune, just not in the way most people expected.
"What I think is really cool about this song is that it really does pertain to mine and Lauren’s story because before we got married, I dated a girl for five years that I thought I was going to marry," Rhett shares (quote via Sounds Like Nashville). "She dated a guy five years that she thought she was going to marry. And that song is basically about me being the narrator and being like, ‘What would my life have been like if I had never gone over to her house and told her how I felt about her?’"
While Rhett's story, thankfully, has a happy ending, the 27-year-old channeled his musing into his latest single, poised to be his tenth No. 1 hit.
"This song is kind of a make-believe story about me basically being invited to her wedding, and never getting the chance to tell her how I felt about her for so long, which I just thought was an interesting way to kind of write a sad song," Rhett says. "It could have been my life very easily."
Writing "Marry Me" caused Rhett to do a lot of contemplating, which he was thrilled to turn into a song.
"Everyone has those 'what if' moments in their life, you know, what if I turned left when I turned right," Rhett tells PopCulture.com. "That is what 'Marry Me' is, to me. I love a song with a great twist and I am a sucker for a sad song as well."
Rhett will hit the road on April 5 on his 2018 Life Changes Tour, with Carly Pearce, Russell Dickerson, Jillian Jacqueline and Midland taking turns as his opening act. Dates can be found on his website.
Download "Marry Me" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Instagram/ThomasRhettAkins