Singled Out: Callaghan's When You Loved Me
I wrote the song in Nashville with a great writer/friend of mine called Angela Kaset, inspired by a wonderful friend of mine who is sadly no longer around. She was the grand-mother of a family I stayed with for a while when I first moved to Atlanta. She was in her 80's when I met her, and had grown up in New York City. We were talking over dinner one evening about past relationships and she told me about the first man she ever fell in love with. Although the romance didn't last, she often thought about him during the decades that passed and always held onto that feeling, wondering how things might have been if life had taken a slightly different direction or they had stayed together. I think everyone can relate to that feeling of falling in love for the first time and no matter where life takes you or how old you are, it's something you never forget. Now that we can all too easily look our exes up on Facebook, I wonder if the era of the idealised, romantic memory of a lost first love might be ending!
The recording process for this song was interesting, and a lot more challenging than I had anticipated. I think it's often the case that creating something very simple can be harder than creating something complicated. I wanted the song to be as bare as we could possibly make it, and let the vocals and lyrics take centre stage, so we stripped back a lot of the instruments we had originally recorded in the session and Dennis [Dennis Matkosky, the producer] built up a very gentle background, layering vocal sounds and adding in small amounts of piano.
Out of all the songs on the record, this one probably ended up taking the longest to put together and mix until it was just right, but it was definitely worth it and I absolutely love what we finished with.