‘Nashville’ Music Matters: “I Know How to Love You Now”

On March 25, ABC will air on the regular Nashville time slot the second ‘On The Record’ musical special. (A new Nashville episode will air the following week April 1. See synopsis here

The same as last year’s FANTASTIC ‘On The Record’ special, cast members from the show will take the stage and perform songs from the show as well as provide backstage interviews.

The beauty of this event, beside the obvious is that we get a chance to hear the cast give the songs their own interpretation in oppose to singing them in character. That adds more dimensions to the songs and reminds us just how amazingly talented they all are (!!!).

Since this special also celebrates the songwriters of the songs, we decided to go back to the songs and ask fans to share their thoughts and feelings. We asked Amy (@amygeurden) to write about one of them and she chose ‘I know How to Love You Now” .Deacon sang this song with a broken heart at the end of Nashville’s season 3 premiere. Charles Esten will perform it with Deana Carter who also co-wrote the it with him during the ‘On The Record’ special.

about Nashville Forever 

In a People magazine interview I saw it mentioned that this song wasn’t specifically written for Nashville or for Deacon and Rayna, it was written first by Charles Esten and Deacon Carter, and then later Callie Khouri decided to use it in the Season 3 premiere. I think this is pretty amazing because it turned out to be an absolutely perfect song for that time and moment in the show.

My broken promises broke your heart

time and time again

I let everything fall apart

I was such a fool back them

But you loved me once I know

So many sorrys ago…..

I don’t know how hearing Deacon sing “I Know How to Love You Now” at the Bluebird could have not touched the heart of every person who heard it. To me it was like listening to a promise from a man who knows he’s made mistakes, and he is trying to prove he’s changed.  It was Deacon saying “I know I screwed up and I’m sorry, but I got it figured out now, and I know how to love you the right way”.

So here I am 

And I just pray

That you will listen long enough to hear me when I say

This brand new man won’t let you down  

If you let me show you

I know how to love you now 

In the scene we could see the picture of Rayna over his shoulder in the background, and Deacon looked so hopeful when the door opened that I know we all “hoped” with him, and were disappointed when it wasn’t her. His face says so much without actually saying a word. I think he had no doubt that she’d be there, which made it even more painful for all of us to watch when she didn’t show up.  It seems like Deacon spent a lot of years not having much faith in himself as being good enough for Rayna. He watched her marry Teddy, who was the successful politician, watched her reign as the Queen of Country, and meanwhile he was just the guy behind her onstage. All that changed when he found out he was Maddie’s dad, and we really did see him turn into a brand new man, with the strength and confidence to fight for her.


There was a time when I held your hand

I would have died to keep you safe

That’s why it kills me that I’m the man

Who put those tears on your face

Well I don’t blame you for moving on

Maybe all of my chances are gone…

There is so much meaning that can be found behind the lyrics, and you can feel the emotion coming through every verse when you listen to it.  It’s such a sweet, simple and rather quiet song; not a lot of back up, not a lot of smoke and mirrors, just a bunch of chords and the truth, and I think this is what makes it so meaningful and significant.

I see that look in your eyes

You’re scared 

And I understand why

So am I…. 

Related: The Nashville Character defense Deacon Claybourne: a Perfect Mess

A song like this can touch your heart and soul in ways you never imagined. The lyrics are a perfect illustration of why putting your heart on the line is scary, but sometime it is worth the risk.  As C.S Lewis said, “To love at all is to be vulnerable.” The paradox of vulnerability in love is that you take the stronger position. When you expose your heart and trust someone else to keep or break it, that is one of the most noble strengths there is. This song is Deacon’s way of telling Rayna that he knows her fears, and promising her he’s changed, but admitting he has fears of his own too.

 But here I am and I just pray 

That you will listen long enough

To hear me when I say 

This brand new man won’t let you down 

If you’ll let me show you

I know how to love you now

Girl let me show you

I know how to love you now… 

The meaning of this song sends a powerful message about life, love, and the power of forgiveness. The lesson in all of this is that people screw up, they make mistakes, but they CAN change. Forgiveness is earned, and when it is earned, it is well-deserved.  Deacon has worked really hard to change and make a better life for himself, and he deserves the chance to show Rayna that. Can their love survive? I believe it can, and it will. This song sets a great example for the rest of us: Don’t give up on the ones you love, and fight for them with all the strength you have. If you follow your heart, it will lead you farther than you will ever get on your own.

The only disappointing part for us as viewers is that Rayna never got to hear this beautiful song from Deacon’s heart. Maybe Nashville writers can doing something about that ? 🙂

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