Lauren Alaina, ‘Eighteen Inches’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Lauren Alaina‘s ‘Eighteen Inches’ lyrics are a smash because they were penned by three A-list writers in Nashville, one of them being Carrie Underwood. And Alaina’s drones of fans and unmatched vocals don’t hurt, either.
A superstar in her own right, Underwood wrote the tune with Kelley Lovelace and Ashley Gorley, with whom she has experienced success in the past, like on her No. 1 hit ‘All American Girl.’
“Carrie, Kelley Lovelace and I wrote this song a couple of years ago when we were writing for Carrie’s album,” Gorley tells Taste of Country of writing the ‘Eighteen Inches’ lyrics. “I think I was playing the chords and groove, and we were all tossing out melodies and lyrics, trying to find the right idea. The music sounded like a story song, and we ended up chasing the concept of young love and the crazy things it makes you do.”
“The general idea of your head and your heart making different choices wasn’t anything new, but Kelley had a great angle on the concept,” Gorley continues. “He told us he had heard it said once in a sermon at church that the distance between your head and your heart is about eighteen inches, and how those eighteen inches can change your life. What makes sense in your head and what you feel in your heart can be a world apart, and when we talked about that we came up with the hook.”
“Cause when you’re young and in love, yeah / You might do some things that don’t seem all that smart / Cause there ain’t no greater distance / Than the eighteen inches from your head to your heart, yeah,” they wrote in the ‘Eighteen Inches’ chorus.
“Lyrically, there were several ways to develop the story, but we went through and chose what we thought were the strongest scenes,” Gorley notes. “A girl madly in love running away with her boyfriend, doing anything they could to scrape up the money and get a ring, and eventually deciding they were ‘ready’ for a baby. If they had stopped and thought about any of the scenarios, they never would have happened, but when you follow what you feel it can take you a long way.”
“Last thing they need is another mouth to feed, but they want one / They’re just kids themselves but that’s gonna change in nine more months / She wakes him up at three thirty in the morning / Ready or not their new life’s gonna start / Seven pounds and eighteen inches / The doctor lays that new baby’s head right on her heart,” they wrote in the lyrics to the song’s final verse of Alaina’s latest single.
“The ending verse of the song where the baby is seven pounds and eighteen inches really hammered the story home,” Gorley says. “Melodically, it’s always easy with Carrie. She and I would roll out melodies back and forth, and she always knows how to phrase the lines to match perfectly with the melody. The only danger is when Carrie’s in the room, nothing ever seems too rangy or too tricky musically, so often when we finish a song, she’s the only one that can sing it. That’s really a testament to Lauren Alaina — she is a great singer and handles the range and melody of ‘Eighteen Inches’ with no problem.”
“Kelley and I were, of course, disappointed that Carrie didn’t record it for her album, but we were really excited when Lauren did it,” he admits. “We knew she was talented from seeing her on ‘American Idol,’ and it sounded awesome when we heard it on Lauren’s album. Carrie and 19 management had a huge hand in getting Lauren to record the song. I give them a lot of credit to recognize that the song was still special, even if it didn’t make it onto Carrie’s album, and to realize it would work perfectly for Lauren.”
Of the ‘Eighteen Inches’ lyrics going to Lauren Alaina, Gorley adds, “Carrie and Kelley and I have celebrated a couple of No. 1’s together on songs Carrie has recorded, and we all agree that we wouldn’t mind celebrating a hit on Lauren with this one!”
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