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Danielle Bradbery, ‘The Heart of Dixie’ – Lyrics Uncovered

Danielle Bradbery
Bob Levey, Getty Images

Since taking home first place on ‘The Voice,’ Danielle Bradbery has recorded and released her first single. At just 17 years old, Bradbery hasn’t quite nailed down her songwriting skills yet, so she tapped into the talent of writers Troy Verges, Brett James and Caitlyn Smith for ‘The Heart of Dixie’ lyrics.

Although Bradbery released the single in July of this year, Verges, James and Smith actually penned the lyrics and melody to the tune in 2012.

“All three of us were up at the studio that Brett and I share on 19th [in Nashville],” Verges explains to Roughstock. “If I remember correctly, two of us were on the calendar that day and someone got canceled on, so the three of us ended up writing together.”

That small twist of fate turned out to be a fortuitous event for all three songwriters. Verges and James have been writing together since “the beginning,” as Verges puts it. And in the last few years, Smith started joining in on their sessions, too.

The three writers sat down to work on what are now Danielle Bradbery’s ‘The Heart of Dixie’ lyrics, and it didn’t take long for them to come up with a title and the opening guitar lick.

“We wanted to write a song that had hope and empowerment in it, but to do it in a way that didn’t come off as preachy, so we decided to make ‘Dixie’ a character and write it as a third-person song,” Verges explains.

Those third-person lyrics start out pretty sad.

She had a dead-end job at the National Bank / And a deadbeat husband who always drank / So when he didn’t come home / She had the gin to thank for the tears in her eyes / So Dixie packed up and said her goodbyes,” they wrote in the first verse.

By the chorus, ‘The Heart of Dixie’ lyrics turn into a hopeful story about a woman strong enough to leave the man who is bringing her down.

She went driving so far away nobody’s gonna find her / Flying just fast enough, to leave it all behind her / But she didn’t know till she hit the road, deep in her soul / She’s got the fire and the fight of a gypsy / Ain’t nothing stronger than the heart of Dixie,” they wrote for the chorus.

Once Verges, James and Smith penned all of the lyrics and the melody to the tune, they agreed that ‘The Heart of Dixie’ just felt right.

“It just felt right in that intangible way that songs sometime do,” Verges says. “I’m so excited that it’s found its way to Danielle Bradbery. As the world has seen through her performances on ‘The Voice,’ she is really a special artist.”

‘The Heart of Dixie’ is the first single from Bradbery’s debut album, which she’s planning to release this fall.

Listen to Danielle Bradbery, 'The Heart of Dixie'

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