“Better Man” became a hit for Little Big Town in 2016. It went on to earn the foursome a CMA Award and a Grammy Award.
Videos by American Songwriter
Videos by American Songwriter
Karen Fairchild’s voice singing out the lyric sometimes, in the middle of the night, I can feel you again / But I just miss you, and I just wish you were a better man seemed to strike a chord with a significant portion of the country listening world as it reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart and remained there for two weeks.
[RELATED: Behind the Band Name: Little Big Town]
Though the song wasn’t written with them specifically in mind, a certain pop queen got done fleshing out the song and felt it would be perfect for the vocal group. Who wrote “Better Man?” Find out, below.
Who Wrote “Better Man”
As made very obvious by the release of her own version of the track, Taylor Swift penned “Better Man.” Because of the stunning harmonies present in the chorus, Swift felt the song would be a better fit for Little Big Town.
“I was on tour, and I wrote it alone in a hotel room,” Swift once told Amazon Music (per Genius). “And I remember standing in front of a mirror—I think the first thing I thought of was, ‘I wish it wasn’t 4 am, standing in a mirror, saying to myself, ‘you know you had to do it.’
“That was an actual visual from my life that ended up being the first thing I wrote, and then I expanded outward from there,” she continued. “And it was a song that I really thought belonged on the album and there were just too many songs I loved that I had written in that period of time, so some of them had to be left off. I think I chose ‘All Too Well’ over ‘Better Man.'”
Though fans missed out on Swift’s version of the song back in 2012 with the original release of Red, the re-recorded version of the album delivered a new take on the hit.
“I’m so grateful to [Little Big Town] for doing that, and now I get to put out my version of it, so pretty fun moment,” Swift said before releasing Red (Taylor’s Version).
[RELATED: The Story Behind the Song: Little Big Town’s “Wine, Beer, Whiskey”]
Elsewhere on the re-recorded version of Red was a collaborative track with Chris Stapleton titled “I Bet You Think About Me,” a track with Pheobe Bridgers titled “Nothing New” and a second duet with Ed Sheeran titled “Run.”
In the early days of her career, Swift routinely wrote songs for other artists. Among her cuts are “Best Days of Your Life” by Kellie Pickler, “You’ll Find Your Way Back Home” by Miley Cyrus, “Babe” by Sugarland, and “Both of Us” by B.O.B. Read about these songs and others that Swift wrote for other artists, HERE.
Swift signed with Sony/ATV as a songwriter at just 14 years old in 2004. At venues around Nashville, Swift performed the songs she had written, eventually turning the head of label head Scott Borchetta. He then signed Swift to his fledgling Big Machine label and released her first single “Tim McGraw.”
That partnership now has a dark shadow over it as the singer says Borchetta and Scooter Braun refused to sell the singer the rights to her songs. The controversy prompted Swift to embark on re-recording her old material.
Swift is slated to trek out on her Eras Tour later this month in Glendale, Arizona. The tour will wind around the country for most of 2023. Find her tour dates, HERE.
Photo: Courtesy of UMG Nashville