Ahh, this one is a throwback – one of my favorites on my first album from 2005!
This song was inspired by a challenge from my manager at Starbucks when I was a barista. We were throwing goofy movie quotes around during a quiet shift and one of us, in the most convincing mellow-dramatic voice we could muster, busted out that iconic line from “Jerry Maguire”: “You had me at hello.” I think I said something about how that line would make a great song (not knowing of course that someone else in country music had already written one) and my manager, who knew I was a songwriter, said, “Why don’t you write one?”
Fast-forward to a week or two later. I was in my apartment resting as best I could with a painful pulled muscle between my ribs when, in a stroke of brilliance, I decided it was as good a time as any to write that song. So that afternoon, slightly under the influence of pain killers and with the faces of all my dear 5-o’clock-in-the-morning Starbucks customers in my mind, I wrote “You Had Me At Hello,” the Starbucks song. A couple days later I brought my guitar with me to work and serenaded my co-workers and customers with it. It’s been one of my most requested songs ever since!
The night Dave Beegle and I recorded it for the “Close” record, we had already tracked a couple other songs that day so by the time we got to “You Had Me At Hello”, it was late and I was tired. We were recording this one “live” (recording both the vocal and guitar at the same time) and I remember wondering if my fingers were bleeding during our third take… But we made it through and one of those takes made it on the CD, along with a couple awkward moments that reveal my state of mind that night!
Over the years of sharing this song at various events, I’ve had people approach my table after a particularly heart-felt sharing of my testimony or some deep God-truth I’ve learned and ask: “Is that coffee song on this CD?!”
And, of course, it is – in all its glory. To me, the funniest thing about this song is that I have never liked coffee.