Keith Urban Insisted Eric Church Record 'We Were' With Him: 'He's a Great Storyteller'

It wasn't until Keith Urban had already recorded his latest single, "We Were," that he found out that his friend, Eric Church, was a co-writer on it. But as soon as heard that Church had a hand in writing the song, he insisted that Church head back into the studio with him to record a new version of the contemplative tune.

“As soon as I found out he was a writer, the first thing I wanted to do is I wanted to hear him sing that song," Urban shared with his record label. "’Cause in my head I heard it top to bottom, so I called him and I said, ‘Would you come in some time and do a version?’ At the end of the summer, he came by and spent a couple of hours at Sound Emporium Studios. Just hearing him sing the song and do his own thing to it — changing all the phrasing, changing the melody, the odd lyric changing.

"I sat there and watched him sing it several times back to back, and he never did it the same way twice …ever,' he continued. "And I said to him, ‘You change it every time.’ He goes, ‘Yeah. Why would I do the same thing twice?’ It’s just the way he rolls, [and] it’s because he’s a storyteller. He’s an amazing songwriter; one of the best in town period, and he’s a great storyteller.”

No one was more surprised than Urban to discover that Church wrote "We Were," penning it with Ryan Tyndell and Jeff Hyde.

"It's unusual for me to not know [the writers], but I got sent the song, and he wasn't singing the demo," Urban shared with and other media. "And I just loved the song so much that I learned it by ear. I didn't get a lyric sheet or anything, and I knew it. I just knew it, knew it. And went in and recorded it and worked out. And then the next thing I know we're doing label copy for all the credits and everything. And so I said, 'Oh, I guess they should send me the lyrics to make sure I sang all the right ones.' When they sent it, that's the first time I saw the three writers' names," he continued. "And I saw a Church up there, and I'm like, 'No way. No way.'"

It was then that Urban decided to do all he could to get Church to collaborate with him on "We Were."

"I texted Eric; we've worked together before on 'Raise 'Em Up,'" Urban recounted. "And I thought, 'Man I would really love to hear him sing that song, because in my head I could hear it. And so I called him up over the summer and asked if there was a time he could come in a studio and do a version with him taking a couple of verses, and he made it happen."


Urban just dropped his first Christmas song, "I'll Be Your Santa Tonight." Both songs are available to download or stream via his website.

Photo Credit: Getty / Ethan Miller