Scotty McCreery, ‘I Love You This Big’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Scotty McCreery's debut country hit is turning heads in every direction. 'I Love You This Big' is a tune penned by Jay Smith and hip-hop writer "Lil" Ronnie Jackson, with additional work done by urban songwriter Esther Dean and a little help from Nashville's own Brett James.
As McCreery was closing in on his win for 'American Idol,' the song's publisher was hearing word that 'I Love You This Big' was on the radar for the young singer to record. While Interscope and Universal Records loved the song's chorus, they felt the lyrics in the verses and the bridge needed to be reworked to fit McCreery better.
"I guess it was a Friday before Scotty won on Tuesday, and I was in L.A. working with Esther Dean, who has written songs for Rihanna and Katy Perry," Brett James tells Taste of Country. "Esther is a real successful pop writer. We had been writing urban-style songs all week when they called us to work on 'I Love You This Big.' We sat there in the studio and rewrote the verses and the bridge, making them shorter and better for Scotty."
"I know I’m still young / But I know how I feel / I might not have too much experience / But I know when love is real / By the way my heart starts pounding / When I look into your eyes / I might look a little silly / Standing with my arms stretched open wide," they wrote as the lyrics of the opening verse.
"I always tell my kids, 'I love you to the moon and back,'" notes James. "I did get that into the first line of the second verse, which was cool ... to write in the family line."
"I’ll love you to the moon and back / I’ll love you all the time / Deeper than the ocean / And higher than the pines," the song continues.
"I wanted to make it into something that a 17-year-old could sing, but something that was universal, too," says James. "I say ['I love you this big'] to my kids, and they have said that back to me a million times. With [Lil Ronnie's] title and some of his stuff, I got to add in some of my own family experiences, and it’s a very special song to me."
"We turned it in at 2:00AM Saturday morning and it was No. 1 on iTunes by Wednesday morning," James continues. "It was a real blessing to be at the right place at the right time."
Watch Scotty McCreery Perform 'I Love You This Big' on 'American Idol'