Florida Georgia Line, ‘Dirt’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Florida Georgia Line‘s ‘Dirt‘ lyrics swerve away from what we’ve come to expect from the duo, and the song’s steel guitar and heartfelt insight play an important part in its authenticity. The ‘Dirt’ lyrics were born from a decided emphasis on one thing, and songwriters Chris Tompkins and Rodney Clawson tell all.
Tompkins is from a small town in Alabama, and the opening lines “You get your hands on it / Plant your roots in it” were directly inspired by Muscle Shoals, Ala. “My hometown is pretty much an oak tree, a volunteer fire department and a high school football team,” he explains to Billboard. “Oh, and a funeral home.”
After the two songwriters hit the ground running with the intro, Clawson wanted to add ‘commitment’ into the theme of the song. After so many country hits that focus on hot summer flings and having fun without strings attached, the ‘Dirt’ lyrics are a breath of fresh air not just for listeners, but for Clawson, too.
“I just kind of threw out the ’10 percent down, white-picket-fence house’ line. That kind of sealed the deal on the song, kind of nailed it home,” the songwriter says. “We kind of got a girl in there a little bit, but then we want to marry this girl, we want to build her a house and raise a family and all that.”
Just like life eventually has an end, the song needed to come to an end too, so they decided to bring the song all the way to that fateful day: “You know you came from it / Someday you’ll return to it.”
“We kind of fought in our minds not to put that in there,” Clawson reflects. “We thought that was the obvious, Biblical thing to kind of throw in there, and then by the time we got to the end of the song, the way it was written it just seemed like it had to be in there …”
“And then if you ever grow up on a farm or in that rural country, it seems like it always keeps pulling you back, and someday you’ll end up back there, so it was the whole double meaning,” he adds.
Although Florida Georgia Line didn’t write the ‘Dirt’ lyrics, they relate to the song on a deep level.
“Everyone’s gonna be singing that song for a long time,” Brian Kelley admits. “We relate to it, man. It just feels like our lives.”
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