Randy Travis recorded quite a few country classics in the 1980s, yet I was always captivated by “I Told You So.” The moody ballad, which Travis wrote, spent two weeks at No. 1 in 1988, although it was largely unknown by modern listeners until Carrie Underwood revived it on her 2007 album, Carnival Ride.
For fans who have never heard the original rendition, it’s worth a listen because you can sense the agony and hurt in Travis’ voice, as you would expect from one of country music’s most traditional singers. Meanwhile, the steel guitar sheds a tear in the chorus — and you might, too.
In the song, Travis wants to pick up the phone and tell his wife he made a mistake by leaving. He wonders if there’s a chance she’ll forgive him and take him back. On the other hand, she might just laugh in his face. And worst of all, she might say those four bitter words that nobody likes to hear: “I told you so.”
Filmed in a log cabin, the music video is about as old-school as you can get. When the second verse begins, the camera settles on Travis’ face and pretty much stays there for a full minute. His expressions run the gamut of emotions from hope to heartache. As the last scene fades, he still hasn’t decided what to do.
Travis faced heart issues of another sort last July when he was hospitalized with cardiac complications. After suffering a subsequent stroke and enduring brain surgery, his road to recovery has been out of the public eye, but here’s hoping for good news ahead.
Watch Randy Travis’ vintage video for his 1988 classic, “I Told You So.”