Carrie Underwood, ‘Something in the Water’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Some songs are just special from the word go, and such was the case with Carrie Underwood's 'Something in the Water' lyrics.
Underwood co-wrote the tune with Chris DeStefano and Brett James, two of Nashville's hottest hit songwriters, and according to DeStefano, it came together easily in one writing session.
"Going in to write with Carrie, it's always an adventure, because obviously she can do so many different things stylistically," he tells Taste of Country. "I had this little musical idea I brought in. It was basically just a lot of instruments, and the vibe was kinda there. It just had an emotion to it. I started playing it in the room for Brett and Carrie, and I remember saying, 'Well, you guys are hopefully gonna like this, or hate it.'"
Once the other writers grabbed on to DeStefano's idea, it was Underwood who provided the song's title. "She said, 'I have this song title, 'Something in the Water,' and she kind of explained what she wanted to write about, and we were just immediately like, 'Oh gosh, that would really be beautiful over this,'" DeStefano adds. "So we immediately knew. It was just one of those things where the whole vibe of the song really began at that point, really strong right from the get-go."
DeStefano, who is affiliated with ASCAP in Nashville, says that continued all the way through the session. "It was just a magical day," he recalls of writing Underwood's 'Something in the Water' lyrics. "There was just an energy in the room, and it was really powerful."
As a songwriter, that is all you can hope for, is to affect people and touch people, and make a difference in their lives, in small ways and big ways.
The resulting song is unapologetic in its strong Christian message. The lyric takes the old cliche of "something in the water" and turns it into a statement about the power of baptism and forgiveness: "Couldn't fight back the tears so I fell on my knees / Saying, 'God, if you're there come and rescue me' / Felt love pouring down from above / Got washed in the water, washed in the blood and now I'm changed / And now I'm stronger / There must be something in the water."
The track also incorporates 'Amazing Grace' into the music at the end.
"We had hinted at it or suggested it in the bridge, and we had tracked the vocal and were vibing out to it, and I remember hearing Carrie starting to sing it toward the end there, and it was like, 'We just have to do that. That sounds amazing," DeStefano explains. "And it just unfolded into, 'What if it just ended on 'Amazing Grace'? That would be amazing to just bring it, just announce it, not pull any punches with it."
It's rare for a song with that much of an overt Christian theme to find its way to the mainstream, even in country music, but 'Something in the Water' has become not only one of the biggest hits of the year, it's also Underwood's longest-running No. 1 song to date, logging seven weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart and still counting. It's also nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the 2015 Grammy Awards, and since all three writers share a strong Christian faith, the opportunity to being that kind of message to a wider audience has been one of the most satisfying parts of the experience for them.
"It's very humbling to be part of it," DeStefano relates. "One of the things that's been really exciting for me -- I know it sounds crazy -- is just reading tweets, and seeing how it's affecting people directly. You're able to really see people's emotions as they're writing on Twitter. It's incredible that it's having such a powerful effect on people. As a songwriter, that is all you can hope for, is to affect people and touch people, and make a difference in their lives, in small ways and big ways."
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