Rascal Flatts, ‘Banjo’ – Lyrics Uncovered
The lyrics to Rascal Flatts‘ new single, ‘Banjo,’ came about from a conversation between songwriters Neil Thrasher and Wendell Mobley, both who have penned several hit singles for the country trio.
“Neil was giving me directions to [Rascal Flatts lead singer] Gary LeVox’s farm for us to go write,” Mobley tells Taste of Country, adding that the directions were quite extensive and in the middle of nowhere. “At the end, he said, ‘Just keep going ’til you hear a banjo.’ We both went, ‘That’s a great idea!’”
But that’s not the song the writers hashed out that day at LeVox’s farm. “We actually went out to write another idea with Gary, which was ‘Changed,’ the title of their new album,” says Mobley. “When we got back, we ended up writing with Tony Martin and broke out the ‘Banjo’ idea. And I promise you, a lot of that chorus [of 'Banjo'] is in [that drive to Gary's]. There’s creeks, shacks, Mennonites, and like a guy standing on the porch staring at you, a horse over here and a gate … [laughs].”
“You gotta go deep / Way on back / Cross a few creeks / And a couple little shacks / You gotta get lost / Way on out / Crickets and frogs / Yeah you’re gettin’ close now / And you kick it into four wheel drive when you run out of road and you go, and you go and you go-go-go / ‘Til you hear a banjo,” they wrote in lyrics of the chorus.
“It’s like you don’t ever think you’re going to get to his farm,” Mobley says with a laugh. “Then when you do, you actually turn off of the asphalt road and get on the gravel road and then the dirt road. You’re literally going through the woods.”
“It ain’t on the map / And I’m glad it isn’t / Leave the phone and the GPS, those satellites ain’t found it yet, got our own little piece of heaven hidden,” they wrote in the lyrics to the song’s second verse.
“We wrote it and demoed it,” notes Mobley, who is also a co-writer of other Flatts hits including ‘I Melt,’ ‘Take Me There’ and ‘Fast Cars and Freedom.’ “When we went out to finish ‘Changed’ at Gary’s, it was perfect because we had just been over ‘Banjo.’ Then I’d gone through that whole drive again. As soon as we got into the kitchen, I opened up my computer and I kind of looked at Neil and he shook his head. I asked Gary, ‘Do you want to hear directions to your farm?’ I played it for Gary, and he goes, ‘Oh my gosh! We’re cutting that like right now!’”