Carly Pearce has written some of my favorite, sad country breakup songs of all time.
And if you follow Whiskey Riff in any capacity, then you know how much all of us here love them.
And since some of my favorite artists in the genre right now have written some of my very favorite sad songs that hurt so good, I wanted to know what some of their favorite’s were that inspired them to write soul-crushing music just like George, Willie, Merle, Waylon and all the other country greats.
So far for this new Sad Country Songs series, we’ve heard some great picks from Whiskey Myers frontman Cody Cannon, Wade Bowen, Hailey Whitters, Miranda Lambert, Graycie York, Riley Green, Randall King, Parker McCollum, Ashland Craft, and today, the Kentucky queen herself Carly Pearce is giving us her pick.
Presented by our friends at Templeton Distillery, she says that the most heartbreaking song she’s ever heard is “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am” by Patty Loveless:
“No matter when it comes on, it stops me in my tracks.
It is such a simple lyric and track that kills me every time I listen.”
Written by written by Gretchen Peters, it was released in 1995 as the third single from Patty’s 1994 When Fallen Angels Fly album.
And it’s a stone cold heartbreaker, where she tells the story of two people in a marriage that has no love left, as they realized they’ve grown apart over time and don’t even really know each other anymore.
I knew Carly would come through with a great pick for us, and this is one of my favorite recommendations we’ve gotten thus far. It really doesn’t get much sadder than “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am.”
Carly also teamed up with Patty on her 2021 album 29: Written In Stone for a tribute to their fellow Kentuckian Loretta Lynn, which is easily one of the best songs to come out of last year, in my very humble opinion.
Carly added that she believes people relate so deeply to sad country songs because so much of the meaning behind them is so authentic to our everyday lives:
“People want to hear the truth and want to relate. A lot of the realness of our lives is wrapped up in sadness.
They push me to open my heart and be vulnerable and write from an honest place.”
Go ahead and preach, Carly.
Pour yourself a glass of Templeton whiskey and turn this one up if you need a good cry today…
They have a multitude of different kinds of whiskey, from their flagship variety of rye whiskey to the top-shelf specialities, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy, and any of their options pairs perfectly with a sad country song like this…
“You Don’t Even Know Who I Am”
And when it comes to picking my favorite sad, heartbreak ballad from Carly, it’s almost impossible to narrow it down to just one.
But the one I go back to all the time is “29,” from her aforementioned 2021 record, where she confronts the reality of failed expectations and how she isn’t were she thought she’d be, or wanted to be, at that particular phase of her life.
There’s just something so authentic and relatable about it, and while it’s not necessarily your typical “breakup song,” that’s what I love so much about it:
And if you really wanna get in your feels, check out our Sad Country Songs Make Me Happy playlist.
Listen to the playlist on Spotify.
Listen on Apple Music.