Carrie Underwood certainly came out strong in her country music career, and her second studio album revealed that she could handle even the heaviest of songwriting material.
“Just A Dream” was released to radio on this date in 2008, and was originally the fourth single from Underwood’s Carnival Ride. Gordie Sampson, Steve McEwan, and Hillary Lindsay were the writers behind the ballad, though it was the 8-time Grammy award winner that really brought the heartbreaking song to life.
Commercially, the song had somewhat of a slow start, debuting at number 45 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Two months later, “Just A Dream” had made its way to the number one spot on the country charts, staying there for two straight weeks and marking the seventh time that an Underwood song held the top country spot.
The sad song was praised by both fans and critics alike. As of November 2015, the tune has been certified two-times platinum by the RIAA and has sold over 1.2 million copies. The song also earned Underwood a Grammy nomination in 2010 for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
“Just A Dream” tells somewhat of a bait-and-switch story, with the corresponding music video vividly and beautifully portraying the poignant story of an 18-year-old woman losing the love of her life to war. As a listener, you first believe that the character played by Underwood is going to her own wedding, but as it turns out, she’s actually attending her romantic partner’s funeral, who was a soldier killed in action.
The narrator of the story is wishing that the whole thing was “Just A Dream” for the song’s entirety, especially when she is handed a folded flag.
The beginning of the song goes:
“It was two weeks after the day she turned eighteen All dressed in white, going to the church that night She had his box of letters in the passenger seat Sixpence in her shoe Something borrowed, something blue
And when the church doors opened up wide She put her veil down trying to hide the tears Oh she just couldn’t believe it She heard the trumpets from the military band And the flowers fell out of her hands”
To be honest, the music video is a pretty tough and emotional watch.
If you are game for it, here’s your warning to get the tissues ready.