Lyrics Uncovered: Russell Dickerson, ‘Blue Tacoma’
"Blue Tacoma" isn’t just a song, it’s a true story that Russell Dickerson put to music.
The "Blue Tacoma" lyrics — it's the follow-up single to Dickerson’s first No. 1 hit, "Yours" — chronicle a beauty-soaked trip he and his wife Kailey took along the west coast and serves as a continuation of the heartfelt hit.
"If 'Yours' is the wedding, this is like the honeymoon of driving through California," Dickerson explains. "It's that feel of being together driving across the magical west coast."
Written by the singer with Parker Welling and Casey Brown (the same team behind "Yours"), the writing process for the "Blue Tacoma" lyrics began before the Dickerson’s road trip along the California coastline. In its original form, the song was a hypothetical scenario of what Welling and her former boyfriend envisioned it would be like to drive down the west coast in a blue Tacoma.
"My wife and I actually lived out in California for a month while her brother went on their honeymoon. We stayed at their place in Santa Monica and we got to drive from L.A. through Malibu, all up the Highway 1 through Santa Barbara ..." Dickerson explains. "It was the most beautiful scenery ever."
While he felt confident in song after the first draft, he found new inspiration after gaining the firsthand experience of traveling along that coast. He realized the song needed a more personal touch. When they returned from the trip, he approached the writers about revamping the track.
"It sounded like you weren't actually there and you wished you were," he says of what the "Blue Tacoma" lyrics were like before the group re-wrote it. "I was like, 'The song's good, but it needs a little pizazz — it needs a little real life.' So [we] completely just tore it apart, re-wrote the entire song."
The version that fans hear on his debut album Yours incorporates many real things he and his wife experienced on the trip, like having to pull over to take in all the beauty, shouting the lyrics to Shania Twain's "Still the One" at the top of their lungs and stopping for cheap sunglasses at a nearby gas station.
"That's what you see is the most beautiful sunset you've ever seen, the blue ocean, the dark of the cliffs and the rock," he says about bringing these visual aspects to life in the song. "There's just so much beauty, so many colors, and I think that's in the blue Tacoma and the white magnolia and the golden sun and all that."
While illustrations of drinking Sunkist soda and the white magnolia in her hair are "just visual candy to the actual trip we took," Dickerson says, the line that personally speaks to him is "pull it over to the shoulder / to take it in / and pull you closer," describing how they had to stop the car and get out to absorb the stunning landscapes around them. "I told them that line. I was like, 'It's literally so beautiful you have to pull over,'" he says of forming the "Blue Tacoma" lyrics based on what he'd seen. "I love that, every time I hear it, it feels so good. That's a very true part of the song. We lived that song."
"Blue Tacoma" is the second single off Yours, which peaked inside the Top 5 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart after its 2017 release.
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