Dierks Bentley, ‘5-1-5-0′ – Lyrics Uncovered
Sometimes lyrics to great songs can come about in the strangest ways, including via text message, which is the case with Dierks Bentley's new single, '5-1-5-0.'
"Dierks and I had been texting song ideas back and forth last summer, and one time he sent me something like 'Fifty-one-fifty ... is anybody with me?' as a funny rhyme," songwriter Jim Beavers tells Taste of Country. "At one point we had talked about our love of Van Halen and how they had an album called '5150' (pronounced fifty-one-fifty) a long time ago. '5150' is slang for acting or going crazy," he explains. "So I was sitting around one day, and it popped into my head to take that weird hook and pronounce it differently: '5-1-5-0.' I really loved the way it looked and sounded because I've always had a thing for unusual song titles."
"One day I was out jogging and thinking of what the song could be when a police cruiser passed me. I said to myself 'po-po,' which is slang for police ... Don't ask me how I know that," Beavers continued with a smile. "Anyway, right then the line '5-1-5-0, somebody call the po-po' popped into my head and it made me laugh out loud. I thought it was interesting and memorable to combine two slang terms. I said the line one time to my kids when we were out and saw a cop car. Sure enough they kept saying it for weeks after that after hearing it only once."
Beavers presented his hook to his brother and fellow songwriter, Brett Beavers, as well as Bentley the next time the three met to write. "We were hitting a brick wall so I just blurted out the line," recalls Beavers. "They both kind looked at me weird. I reminded Dierks of him sending me the original text with '5150.'"
"5-1-5-0, somebody call the po-po / I’m goin’ crazy, thinkin’ ‘bout you baby / 5-1-5-0, just this side of loco / I’m goin’ crazy, think I love you baby," they wrote in the lyrics, which complete Beavers' original thought.
"We were a little concerned that people wouldn't know what '5-1-5-0' or 'po-po' meant, but ultimately decided that's what made it cool and interesting," Beavers notes. "If they knew, they knew. If they didn't they would find out. There's been lots of songs like that that have been huge hits, especially in other genres."
"Ever since I met you girl / You've been on my brain / I can't think of nothin' else / But you all night and day / It's like I've got a first class seat / Up on Ozzy's train / It's driving me insane," they wrote in the opening lyrics to the song.
"We had a great time writing the song," says Beavers. "Everybody can relate to that feeling of being crazy in love with someone at the early stages."
Speaking of '5-1-5-0,' Dierks Bentley adds, "I was a huge fan of Van Halen growing up, and this song was definitely inspired by those guys. They taught me a lot about power chords and girls. Getting '5-1-5-0' has become slang on the bus for some of the crazy things that happen out on the road. I love that fans are using it back to me now. [My] spring Country and Cold Cans Tour is definitely gonna be '5-1-5-0.'"