Steel Magnolia, ‘Bulletproof’ – Lyrics Uncovered
The lyrics for Steel Magnolia's latest hit, 'Bulletproof,' was stemmed from a conversation between the song's two co-writers, Lori McKenna and Chris Tompkins, as the two sat in the midst of McKenna's home with her family all around.
"This song is about seven or eight years old," Tompkins tells Taste of Country. "I had heard of my co-writer, Lori McKenna, who Faith [Hill] and Tim [McGraw] somewhat discovered, and had been recording a lot of her songs. There was a buzz in Nashville about how awesome she was, and I was lucky enough to have my then publisher at the time hook us up to co-write. So one week, I went up to write with Lori McKenna in her hometown of Stoghton, Mass., just south of Boston. It's kind of funny ... She is this sweet little down to earth mother of five, and she's super mom, and on the side, a musical bada---. Anyway, we wrote at her house for a few days, and 'Bulletproof' we wrote on the second day I was there."
"She had discussed her new Toyota [that she] traded in [her] hatchback [for] ... telling me about her new car," he continues. "I didn't immediately think it would be lyrics of a song, it was just words in passing. We both had guitars, and then Lori brought up that she loved the title 'Bulletproof.' After she mentioned the title, like songs seem to do often, it just kind of popped out of my mouth -- the little first verse melody."
"Got a new Toyota / Traded in the hatchback / Can't make the payment / But I'm not worried 'bout that / 'Cause I'm bulletproof," they wrote in the opening lyrics.
"The song came really fast [at that point], and we had a lot of fun with the lyrics," says Tompkins.
"Well I could stand in the middle of a thunderstorm / Holding a lightning rod on your roof / This could never shatter me / Don't smother me with sympathy / What makes you think I'm not over you? / Oh, I'm bulletproof," they continued to write in the lyrics.
"We were just trying to be really quirky and aiming for the song to come across as a strong woman -- or weak woman -- making fun of her own weakness for her ex-lover," recalls Tompkins. "After the co-write she took me to a world famous roast beef restaurant, and we drank Corona and listened to Ryan Adams. Then I ended up playing Keno and eating $1 pizza at an Irish pub!"