Story Behind the Song: Drew Parker, ‘While You’re Gone’
Drew Parker's "While You're Gone" reminds the singer of everything he listened to -- and loved -- growing up in the '90s. Indeed, the heartbroke story-song with a slightly delusional protagonist would fit well alongside plenty of the artist's heroes, in terms of both sound and lyrical style.
Co-written with "Some Girls" singer Jameson Rodgers, "While You're Gone" is the title track of Parker's 2020 EP and has found some space on country radio, but it's hardly his first time there. He's one of the writers of Jake Owen's No. 1 hit "Homemade," and one of the tunesmiths behind "1, 2 Many," which Luke Combs recorded with Brooks & Dunn.
Below, Parker shares the story behind "While You're Gone," in his own words.
I think we wrote that before Jaemo had a record deal ... It was just me and him, and it was like, "What do we want to do today?" "Well, let's write a good country song."
I think we got to talking about our love of good '90s country, and how good '90s country songs told stories, and told great stories, and some of them were sad and some of them were funny, and I was like, "Well, how do we get all of that in one? How do we make it a little tongue-in-cheek, but it's a sad song?"
So, we started talking about it, throwing out ideas, and I think Jameson said, "I have this idea: It's called "While You're Gone,"" and it's like, "I'll be right here drinkin' a beer while you're gone," and it's like, the listener knows she's not coming back, but the guy singing is like, "Hey, I think she's coming back," even though, deep down inside, he knows she's not, which had the little tongue-in-cheek and the sad heartbreak story, which I think good '90s country songs do.
When I get into a room and write, I always write very much from a place of nostalgia -- like, I chase a feeling that I had when I was a kid listening to country music, and that feeling came from '90s country, so I think, for whatever reason, it always tends to go towards those emotions that I felt from a '90s country song, and sometimes feels and chases after '90s country ...
That was the first song me and Jameson ever wrote; it was a few years ago, and we had just gotten to know each other. But it was just a place of, "Hey, let's chase this feeling of a '90s country-type lyric, with a fresh melody, and let's tell a good story."