Rodney Atkins, ‘He’s Mine’ – Lyrics Uncovered
The lyrics to Rodney Atkins‘ new single ‘He’s Mine’ started off going in a completely different direction, but the three writers — Phil O’Donnell, Tim James and Casey Beathard — made a slight change, which resulted in another hit song on all their resumes.
“Tim James came in the room that morning with ‘She’s Mine’ as a title,” O’Donnell tells Taste of Country. “It was going to be about a little rebel girl. We stumbled around for a bit, and Casey came up with ‘He’s Mine.’ Guess you could say there’s a little bit of me, Tim and Casey, when we were kids, and a little bit of our kids mixed up and stirred around a clock a few hundred times, in that little story.”
“Old man knocked on my front door / With my teenage boy and a couple more / From up the road / He had him by the collar / Said he caught him shootin’ beer bottles / Down in the holler and smokin’ / And I said, ‘Is that right?’ / He said, ‘They won’t speak when spoken to / So which one here belongs to you / And I know one does / ‘Cause they all started runnin’ to your back forty / When they saw me comin’ on my gator.’ / I looked him in the eyes and said, ‘He’s mine,'” they wrote in the opening lyrics.
“[In this song, there’s] little parts of our place out here in Hickman County, [Tenn.],” notes O’Donnell. “We have a holler where the kids go to play pinball and shoot .22 rifles. Casey has a house by a big ol’ holler in the Thompson Station area, and let’s just say Tim is the kid smoking in the song when he was young [laughs]!”
“…He’s mine, that one / Got a wild hair side and then some / No surprise what he’s done / He’s every last bit of my old man’s son / If you knew me then there’d be no question in your mine / You’d know he’s mine,” they wrote in the lyrics of the song’s chorus.
“Casey and Tim know everything there is to know about football, so their details and thoughts of where the second verse should go was a bulls-eye.”
“Friday night, football games / Living for the speakers to call the name on the back of No. 37 / Just 145 and 5’11”, maybe / Limelight barely shined on him / But everyone still remembers when / He whooped on that boy way bigger / For taking that cheap shot on our little kicker / And they threw him out / Oh man, you should have heard me shout,” they wrote in they second verse.
“Like Rodney, we all have kids and love them little rug rats unconditionally,” continues O’Donnell. “We are mighty proud of them and to have them, and so thankful and blessed that they are healthy. I am so grateful to be a part of that song.”
“The song is one I heard years ago when we were doing the ‘Going Through Hell’ album,” Atkins tells Taste of Country. “I loved the song. It seems like it’s dark from the front of it, but it’s not. I love the language. The way I grew up, I could see that happen … the old man knocking on the front door, having him by the collar … just kind of accusatory. I’ve been there, and I can see that picture in my head. I think it’s very real, and it says it in a different way. If it can connect, that will be great, because I’ve seen that reaction live and I really believe in the song and what it says. It has got a different edge. I love the song.”