It’s time to cry uncontrollably over Travis Tritt’s music video for “Tell Me I Was Dreaming,” the fourth and final single off the 1994 album Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof.
As is often the case with Tritt’s best songs, this co-write with Charlie Daniels Band member Bruce Ray Brown follows the “put some drive in your country” mindset that blends both writers’ classic rock knowledge with an unwavering commitment to traditional country. That’s to say it straddles the line between a Southern rock power ballad and a honky-tonk heartbreaker.
While the song stands out on a can’t miss Warner Bros. album featuring its title track, prior Keith Whitley recording “Between an Old Memory and Me” and the Marty Stuart-penned “Hard Times and Misery,” its lengthy single version sticks with country fans because of its spirit-crushing music video.
The Mac Singleton Trilogy
It’s the second of three music videos starring Tritt as combat veteran Mac Singleton. Fans first met Singleton in the video for “Anymore” (1991) and said goodbye with “If I Lost You” (1998).
In this installment, Singleton loses his pregnant wife in a freak accident. A song that could’ve just been about losing the love of a woman takes a dark turn when regret-filled wishes like “it was just my imagination telling lies” and “I hope things aren’t what they seem”–and sorrow “that you didn’t say goodbye”–suddenly represent mortality.
To add a little solace to the opening line about a “new day dawning” for a broken heart, Singleton’s newborn daughter survives. Her proud dad names the girl after his departed lover, Annie.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the honky-tonk drive of “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” and “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde” or the country sunshine of “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive,” this song is just as much a career high point for one of the past 30 years’ greatest American performers and songwriters.