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Kathy Mattea - Where've You Been?

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Uploaded on Jan 3, 2010

"Where've You Been?" was written by Jon Vezner and Don Henry. Jon Vezner (husband of Kathy Mattea) wrote the song about his grandparents. The song was written for Kathy Mattea, who initially refused to record it, saying it would be too difficult to sing in concerts without crying. Co-writers Jon Vezner and Don Henry pitched the song all around Nashville. Everyone loved the song, but no one wanted to record it. In the end, Mattea finally relented and recorded the song the way it had originally been presented to her - a simple arrangement with guitar, piano, and upright bass.. She recalls:

"It's a true story about Jon's grandparents. They had both gotten very sick and were in the same hospital, but didn't know it. His grandmother had been slowly losing it, and she didn't recognize anybody. She was in unfamiliar surroundings, so she finally quit talking altogether. Jon was there visiting, and he was up seeing his grandfather; he said to the nurse, "Has anybody brought him down to see her?" She said no, and he asked if he could do that.

"They said yes, so he wheeled his grandfather into his grandmother's room. His grandfather kept stroking her hair, saying, "Look at her hair. Nobody has hair like grandma," and she looked at him and said, "Where have you been?" It was the first thing she had said in weeks.

"When Jon told me the story for the first time, it was before we had even gotten engaged, and he just cried and cried. When he played the song for me and the first chorus came around, I knew where he was going with the lyric, and I just couldn't believe he could be that vulnerable as a writer, to put that moment in a song."

The song was Mattea's biggest hit, winning her a Grammy. It also won Song of the Year (1990) at the Grammys, CMA's and ACM's.

Claire had all but given up
When she and Edwin fell in love
She touched his face and shook her head
In disbelief, she sighed and said
In many dreams I've held you near
Now, at last, you're really here!

Where've you been?
I've looked for you forever and a day
Where've you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away

He asked her for her hand for life
And she became a salesman's wife
He was home each night by eight
But one stormy evening, he was late
Her frightened tears fell to the floor
Until his key turned in the door

Where've you been?
I've looked for you forever and a day
Where've you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away

They'd never spent a night apart
For sixty years she heard him snore
Now they're in a hospital
In separate beds on different floors

Claire soon lost her memory
Forgot the names of family
She never spoke a word again
Then one day, they wheeled him in
He held her hand and stroked her head
In a fragile voice she said

Where've you been?
I've looked for you forever and a day
Where've you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away
No, I'm just not myself when you're away

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