Alan Jackson Reveals Inspiration For “Remember When” Came From Wife Denise

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The story Alan Jackson tells in Remember When is very realThe story Alan Jackson tells in Remember When is very real

The best stories are rooted in reality. When it came time to write one of his most beloved tracks, “Remember When,” Alan Jackson turned to real life for inspiration and found the perfect source from which to draw to best capture feelings of enduring love: his wife.

Released in October 2003, “Remember When” was written and recorded by Jackson himself for his compilation album, Greatest Hits Volume II. It stayed at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for two weeks. The lyrics tell of coming together, falling apart, watching life transform beyond all recognition in the best way imaginable – and it was all rooted in Jackson’s experience with his wife Denise.

Alan Jackson details how his wife Denis inspired “Remember When”

Jackson married Denise back in 1979, meaning they had roughly two and a half decades of marital bliss for him to draw from when composing “Remember When.” Anyone interested in the story of their fairytale romance, they need look no further than the lyrics themselves, as they lay it all out their for listeners to follow along.

Remember When, written and sung by Alan JacksonRemember When, written and sung by Alan Jackson
Remember When, written and sung by Alan Jackson / YouTube screenshot

“Denise and I met as kids, and all that’s true,” said Jackson in reference to the lyrics “Remember when I was young and so were you / And time stood still and love was all we knew.” He added, “And most of that is just reflections of our life, and some of it looking ahead.”

The song still resonates with couples

Just like in Remember When, Alan Jackson and Denise were high school sweetheartsJust like in Remember When, Alan Jackson and Denise were high school sweethearts
Just like in Remember When, Alan Jackson and Denise were high school sweethearts / Instagram

The song is 20 years old as of last autumn, and yet it might as well have been yesterday that Jackson was singing about the sound of little feet and 30 feeling old. “I’ve had so many comments saying, ‘That’s one of my favorite songs,’ or ‘That’s our song,’” recalled Jackson, celebrating the song’s big anniversary. “I have so many couples come up and say, ‘That’s our song.’…It connected with a certain audience, I guess.”

That’s because Jackson and Denise’s story is one that is both idyllic and relatable; they “lived and learned, life threw curves” and “broke each other’s hearts” but they also “Vowed we’d never give it up” and “said we’d do it all again.”

Their story still resonates to this dayTheir story still resonates to this day
Their story still resonates to this day / Instagram

Jackson and Denise had, indeed, met in high school and became sweethearts during those formative years, as detailed in “Remember When.” By late December ’79, they were husband and wife. Denise, a flight attendant by profession, was instrumental in helping Jackson’s career from the start, as she crossed paths with singer-songwriter Glen Campbell and secured a line of communication to get Jackson’s career going.

Denise also penned a book, It’s All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life, that’s all about their relationship; it topped The New York Times Best Seller list. There were some substantial road bumps along the way, but the two are still going as strong as “Remember When” to this day.



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