First loves are always the strongest, and Darius Rucker knows the feeling first hand. The country star spoke with People about the backstory of his song “Sara” — in which he sings fondly of his fifth-grade girlfriend — and how pal Ed Sheeran helped him write the song that is set to appear on Rucker’s forthcoming album, Carolyn’s Boy.
Rucker and Sheeran first crossed paths while the pop star was opening for Taylor Swift during the Red Tour in 2013. “We met then, and I just wanted to write with him. I always wanted to write with him, and finally got to do it,” Rucker explained to the magazine. “I remember writing the first song and he asked me who my first love was, and I said it was my fifth-grade girlfriend. We just started talking about it, and in between every song he’d ask me something, and we’d talk about it, and then when I thought we were done he was like, ‘I’ve got one more idea, man.’”
He continued, “Writing that song was so fun because Ed is such an amazing songwriter, but to write a song that’s literally about your fifth-grade girlfriend who you haven’t seen in 40 years, it was an experience,” he says. “It was something that I never thought about writing, and when we did, I was so happy we did because I loved the song, and the song was true.”
The former Hootie & The Blowfish lead singer is happily married to his wife of 23 years, Beth Leonard, and said that he has “no idea” what his fifth-grade girlfriend, Sara, is doing now, but would “love to see her again” at some point.
“Sara” is on Rucker’s Carolyn’s Boy, which is set to release on Friday (Oct. 6).
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