Willie Nelson and fellow heavy hitting writer Diane Warren recently teamed up to write a new song for an upcoming Burt Reynolds movie. Called “To Get Here,” the track follows Nelson through all his regrets and mistakes.
But ultimately, the singer knows he couldn’t and wouldn’t redo his errors. Because they’re what it took “to get here.”
He wrote the tune for an upcoming movie starring Burt Reynolds and Ariel Winters called Dog Years. In the movie, Reynolds’ plays an aging movie star (go figure). Unable to confront his fading fame, his character goes soul-searching through Tennessee. Ariel Winter plays a young woman hired to be his driver, and Chevy Chase also makes a brief appearance.
Willie Nelson and Diane Warren wrote “To Get Here” together after watching the movie. Which makes sense, since the inspirational, uplifting song captures a certain cinematic quality. Much of the vibe comes from lush production of swirling keyboards and guitars.
Diane Warren wrote some monster ballads and pop hits, including “How Do I Live” for LeAnn Rimes, “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” for Aerosmith and “If I Could Turn Back Time” for Cher. So she and Nelson really nailed the heavy, heartfelt lyrics.
But with Nelson’s understated vocal and off-beat delivery, the song still feels folksy. “There are things I’ve done I wish I could undo,” Nelson sings. “I’d take back all the pain I put the ones that loved me through.” Just reading those lyrics, it seems like a mouthful, but somehow Nelson just makes it sound effortless.
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“All the mistakes I made, I’m glad I made them,” he sings in the chorus. “All the wrong turns I took, I had to take them. Can’t look back with regret, cause the view is never clear. That’s what it took to get here.”
Honestly, we can totally hear a LeAnn Rimes or Trisha Yearwood singing this song, too.
Dog Years premieres April 22 at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Nelson is set to release a brand new album, God’s Problem Child, on April 28.