Carly Pearce Finds Post-Heartbreak Clarity in ‘What He Didn’t Do’ [Listen]
Carly Pearce's most revealing and honest album to date, 29: Written in Stone, takes fans through a chapter of her personal life that includes her divorce from fellow artist Michael Ray, to whom she was married for eight months.
Throughout the album, Pearce draws inspiration from her real-life heartache. Now, in what she says is the final single to come off the project, the singer is finding healing and looking toward the future.
That song is "What He Didn't Do," an unflinchingly honest laundry list of all the ways in which a relationship fell short. "Treat me right, put me first / Be a man of his word / Stay home 'cause he wanted to," Pearce rattles off in the chorus, listing the things that her ex didn't do, which ultimately contributed to the demise of the relationship.
Pearce explains that "What He Didn't Do" was written after the raw, stunned, early days of heartbreak had passed. Instead, it's the product of finding clarity after going through the grieving process of a breakup.
"Life goes on," she says in a statement. "You know that when you're reeling, feeling the fool and so hurt ... But then there's a moment when those emotions start to clear. That's when you look in the mirror and you ask yourself what happened and try to learn from your mistakes. That's where 'What He Didn't Do' came from. To me, it's really a song of hope and trying to get smarter before moving forward."
"What He Didn't Do" follows Pearce's chart-topping duet with Ashley McBryde, "Never Wanted to Be That Girl," which follows two women who are caught between the same love interest. In contrast with that release, "What He Didn't Do" is more of a bird's-eye view: After the emotional early stages of a breakup, Pearce finds enough clarity to zoom out and look at the bigger picture — and get a good idea of what she's not looking for in her next relationship.
Did You Know?:
Pearce often says that putting out personal music allows fans to connect her songs to their own stories. At one recent concert, she saw the proof: A pair of girls came up to the stage holding a sign that explained that they had lived the story of "Never Wanted to Be That Girl," and Pearce's music helped them escape from their relationships.
Carly Pearce, "What He Didn't Do" Lyrics:
Everybody's asking what the hell happened / Wonderin' why it all went wrong / Mama always said if you can't say something nice / Then don't say anything at all / And I've got my side of the story / And he's got his side too / So I ain't gonna go and tell you what he did / But I'll tell you what he didn't do...
Treat me right, put me first / Be a man of his word / Stay home 'cause he wanted to / Always fight for my love / Hold on tight like it's somethin' / That he couldn't stand to lose / The devil's in the details / I won't tell the hell that he put me through / All I know is in the end / It wasn't what he did / It was what he didn't do
I'm already halfway over him / And I ain't takin' time to turn around / So I'mma take the high road / Even though we both know / I could run him out of this town / That's just dirty laundry / I don't need to air the truth / So I ain't gonna tell you everything he did / But I'll tell you what he didn't do...
I ain't met the right one yet / But I know when I do...
He'll treat me right, put me first / Be a man of his word / Stay home 'cause he wanted to / Always fight for my love / Hold on tight like it's somethin' / That he couldn't stand to lose / The devil's in the details / I won't tell the hell that he put me through / All I know is in the end / It wasn't what he did / It was what he didn't do
All I know is in the end / It wasn't what he did / It was what he didn't do