Highway Don't Care

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"Highway Don't Care"
TMG - Highway Dont Care cover.png
Single by Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift[1]
from the album Two Lanes of Freedom
Released March 25, 2013 (2013-03-25)[1]
Format Digital download
Genre Country
Length 4:36
Label Big Machine
Tim McGraw singles chronology
"One of Those Nights"
"Highway Don't Care"
"Southern Girl"
"One of Those Nights"
"Highway Don't Care"
"Southern Girl"
Taylor Swift singles chronology
(2013) 222013
"Highway Don't Care"
(2013) Highway Don't Care2013
(2013) Red2013
Music video
"Highway Don't Care" on YouTube

"Highway Don't Care" is a song performed by American country music artist Tim McGraw and features American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift on vocals, as well as Keith Urban on guitar.[2] It was released in March 2013 as the third single from McGraw's first album for Big Machine Records, Two Lanes of Freedom (2013), the song was written by Mark Irwin, Josh Kear and Brad and Brett Warren.[3] McGraw and Swift recorded their parts separately.[4]


The song is a mid-tempo ballad where the male narrator is separated from his lover who is driving. Throughout the verses, he tells her what he "bets" she is feeling, when a song comes on her radio (its part sung by Swift) containing the lines "I can't live without you, baby." He also says that the highway she's driving on doesn't care if she's alone or if she's going home, but he does. The song is in D major with a main chord pattern of D-Bm7-Gsus2-A.[5] Keith Urban plays lead guitar on it.


Thom Jurek of Allmusic, in his review of the album, wrote that "the hook is irresistible and McGraw's vocal, paired with the young singer's, is a perfect match."[6] Chuck Dauphin of Roughstock also reviewed the song favorably, saying that "this song flows well, with winning performances from two of the format’s top vocalists."[7] Billy Dukes of Taste of Country gave the song five stars saying that the track is arguably "one of the best collaborations of the decade — maybe even ever, each artist brings his or her best effort to the song from McGraw’s Two Lanes of Freedom album. 'Highway Don’t Care’ feels like a special moment from the very first listen, and only becomes more cathartic with time." [8] Jeff Benjamin of Fuse said the track has "major crossover potential." [9] The single has also been a great commercial success, it has sold 1,743,000 copies in the US as of November 2013.[10][11]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Shane Drake and premiered on May 6, 2013,[12] the music video for the song features Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban, as well as actors portraying the song's narrator and his lover. It was made in partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee and highlights the dangers of driving while distracted, particularly texting and driving. In the video, the narrator's lover mentioned in the song is driving, crying, and texting the narrator, after dropping her phone and trying to retrieve it, she drifts into the wrong lane while reaching across her car and collides with oncoming traffic. She is then airlifted by a Vanderbilt LifeFlight helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she is treated in the Adult Emergency Department, the video implies that she survives as the doctor comes out to see the girl's parents and the narrator, after which they are seen smiling happily and embracing.

The structure of the video at first seems to imply that Tim McGraw (as the singer/narrator and a character in the video) is the boyfriend who keeps being texted by the female driver. Upon the LifeFlight helicopter arriving at the hospital, the viewer realizes that Tim McGraw's character is actually the physician who saves the driver's life, and the texts he'd had been receiving earlier in the video were from the hospital paging/notifying him about this emergency. Taylor Swift was standing in the bedroom-curtain. Keith Urban was standing on the beach.[13]

Official versions[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

"Highway Don't Care" debuted at number 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and number 43 on the U.S. Billboard Country Airplay chart for the week of February 23, 2013, due to unsolicited airplay seven weeks before being released to radio.[14] It also debuted at number 59 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 23 on the Canadian Hot 100 for the week of February 23, 2013. It also debuted number 1 on the US Billboard Country Digital Songs chart with 86,000 downloads for the week of February 13, 2013.[15]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[16] 73
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[17] 21
Canada Country (Billboard)[18] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 22
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[20] 4
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[21] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Position
Canada Canadian Hot 100[22] 81
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 77
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[24] 32
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[25] 6


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[26] 2× Platinum 2,000,000[10]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b "R&R :: Going For Adds :: Country". Radio & Records. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ Wyland, Sarah (March 12, 2013). "Tim McGraw Collaborates with Taylor Swift & Keith Urban on New Single". Great American Country. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ Conaway, Alanna (February 13, 2013). "Story Behind The Song: The Warren Brothers Discuss Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift's "Highway Don't Care"". Roughstock. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ Stromblad, Cory (February 8, 2013). "Tim McGraw Spills on Recording ‘Highway Don’t Care’ ‘With’ Taylor Swift, Keith Urban". Taste of Country. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ Mark, Irwin,. "Tim McGraw "Highway Don't Care" Sheet Music in D Major (transposable) - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. 
  6. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Two Lanes of Freedom – Tim McGraw". Allmusic. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ Dauphin, Chuck (February 22, 2013). "The Weekly Single Recap: February 22, 2013: Tate Stevens, Tim McGraw & Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean & More". Roughstock. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  8. ^ Dukes, Billy (February 25, 2013). "Tim McGraw (Feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban), ‘Highway Don’t Care’ – Song Review". Taste of Country. Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (May 7, 2013). "Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban Want You Home Safe in "Highway Don't Care" Video". Fuse.tv. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Matt Bjorke (November 13, 2013). "Country Chart News – The Top 30 Digital Singles – November 13, 2013: CMA Awards Drive Sales; Eric Church "The Outsiders" #1; Taylor Swift "Red" #3". Roughstock. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ Matt Bjorke (October 9, 2013). "Country Chart News – The Top 30 Digital Singles – October 9, 2013: Cassadee Pope, David Nail, Eli Young Band, Blake Shelton Lead". Roughstock. Archived from the original on October 11, 2013. 
  12. ^ "CMT : Videos : Tim McGraw : Highway Don't Care". Country Music Television. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ Wetzel, Jennifer. "Vanderbilt, country superstar Tim McGraw share important message regarding dangers of distracted driving". Vanderbilt University. 
  14. ^ Morris, Edward (February 16, 2013). "Tim McGraw's Two Lanes of Freedom Is Week's No. 1 Country Album". Country Music Television. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  15. ^ Bjorke, Matt (February 13, 2013). "Country Chart News – The Top 30 Digital Singles: The Week of February 13, 2012: Tim McGraw & Taylor Swift #1; Lady Antebellum #2". Roughstock. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  16. ^ http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/23790/20130219-1428/Issue1199.pdf
  17. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Tim McGraw.
  18. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Billboard Canada Country for Tim McGraw.
  19. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Tim McGraw.
  20. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Tim McGraw.
  21. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Billboard Country Airplay for Tim McGraw.
  22. ^ "Best of 2013: Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Best of 2013: Hot 100 Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Best of 2013: Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Best of 2013: Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  26. ^ "American single certifications – Tim McGraw – Highway Don%27t Care". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 9, 2013.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
"Wagon Wheel"
by Darius Rucker
Billboard Country Airplay
number-one single

June 15–22, 2013
Succeeded by
"Boys 'Round Here"
by Blake Shelton featuring
Pistol Annies and Friends