Better as a memory

"Better as a Memory"
Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
Released March 31, 2008
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 4:12
Label BNA
Writer(s) Scooter Carusoe
Lady Goodman
Producer Buddy Cannon
Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney singles chronology

"Better as a Memory"
"Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven"

"Better as a Memory" is the title of a song written by Scooter Carusoe and Lady Goodman, and recorded by American country music singer Kenny Chesney. It was released in March 2008 as the fourth and final single from his album Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates. Produced by Buddy Cannon, the tune was voted one of NSAI’s “Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written” in November 2008. A two-week #1, it is also the fourteenth number-one hit of Chesney's career, peaking on the chart week of June 28, 2008.

The song was performed with a string quartet on the 2009 Grammy Awards, where he was introduced by Morgan Freeman. Later it became the final performance in the Sony/Hot Ticket theatrical release "Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3-D."


The song is a mid-tempo ballad in which the narrator addresses a lover with whom he is splitting with, but most likely warning her he is not the kind to get deeply involved with. He then lists a series of similes regarding himself (such as "built to fade like your favorite song", and "always sure until I doubt"), ultimately telling her that he is "better as a memory / than as [her] man".[1]

The co-writers of the song are both pseudonymous: Scooter Carusoe is a pseudonym for Travis Hill, founder of Carnival Music, and Lady Goodman is a pseudonym of Holly Gleason, Chesney's publicist and a music critic.[2][3]


Noted Nashville critic Robert K Oermann wrote , " could be the performance of his life, perhaps his career."

Leeann Ward, reviewing the song for Country Universe, gave it a B- rating. He said the lyrics seem to be somewhat "self-indulgent" but then said that "the production is nice and Kenny’s vocals are spot on." [4]

Chart performance

Chart (2008) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 46
US Billboard Pop 100 100
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[7] 61

Year-end charts

Chart (2008) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 23
Preceded by
"Last Name"
by Carrie Underwood
Billboard Hot Country Songs
number-one single

June 28-July 5, 2008
Succeeded by
"Back When I Knew It All"
by Montgomery Gentry


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