Lyrics Uncovered: Kenny Chesney, ‘Get Along’
Kenny Chesney's "Get Along" lyrics beg for an answer to a simple question: can't we all just get along?
Written by Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally and Ross Copperman, "Get Along" was born out of their collective subconscious. McAnally had the title and the desire to write something "organic" and "rootsy," which Copperman and Osborne helped turn into a song about life, finding common ground and learning to evolve with the world.
"We were like, 'What if it was this list that while you're living, you do all these things, and then trying to wrap it with, can't we all get along?'" Osborne explains to Taste of Country. "We felt like we had tapped into something and thought there's a cool, bigger idea here."
This grander idea details a list of simple, fulfilling tasks to accomplish in life — making a new friend, calling your mom — and led to the creation of a series of characters that are illustrations of real-life people we encounter who leave a life-long impression.
"I had the line, 'Met a man wearing a T-shirt / Said, Virginia Is for Lovers.' We didn't know what it meant, but it just sounded cool," he says, speaking of the "random interaction" between the singer and a character. "And this guy's holding a Bible in one hand and a bottle of alcohol in the other and he's almost like a sidewalk preacher. He says, 'All you're given is the sunshine and your name / And we just started laughing when the sky started to rain.' We were trying to find humor in those lines."
Listen to Kenny Chesney's "Get Along"
We're introduced to the sidewalk preacher before we get an audio image of a model on a billboard that reads: "1-800-get-to-know-me."
"Are her eyes really that lonely? / Did she leave her hometown / Thinking she'd end up in L.A.? / Did she break down in the desert and get stuck beside the highway," Chesney sings in the second verse.
"How life is, you can think it's one way, but it's all these other things ... and all you can do is just keep moving and just keep improving," Osborne says of shaping the "Get Along" lyrics.
These themes, reflection and observation, shine in the chorus as Chesney proclaims: “Get along on down the road / We’ve got a long, long way to go" and "Get along while you can / Always give love the upper hand."
"Hopefully people take from that the double meaning of it. We're all trying to get along on down on the road, can't we all just keep moving forward with our lives?" Osborne says, reflecting. "We were trying to put these kind of messages in it."
"Get Along" is a unifier — the songwriters' intention was never to write a "message" song about the state of the world, but to find peace among the divisiveness.
"I don't think we were making a conscious decision to write it 'about' the world, but I think the way the world is right now, it's in all of our subconscious and we're all feeling it," Osborne acknowledges. "We weren't trying to write a song that did that, but it was something that was on our hearts. So much of songwriting is therapy, and I think we were just trying to get it out of us and onto the page so it would hopefully translate to other people."
"We live in such a fractured world right now, hopefully it would be seen as, 'We're all in this together,'" he adds.
The "Get Along" lyrics were written in 2016, just before Chesney released Cosmic Hallelujah. Osborne had such an instinct that the song was meant for the superstar that he held on to it until the day he knew Chesney was looking for songs for his next project. "I said to Shane and Ross, 'The second Kenny's looking again, we've got to send this song to him.' It just reminded me of him and his life and his look at the world," Osborne recalls.
He even told Chesney he had a "gut feeling" that song was meant for him, and thankfully, Chesney agreed. Not long after he received the song, the "I Go Back" singer replied, admitting he felt a connection to the track.
"He hit me right back and said, 'I love this. We're still figuring out what we're going to do with this record, can I hold on to it for a little bit? I really love it,'" Osborne shares. "I think the overall vibe of it just connected with him."
"When we wrote it, it just had his spirit," the songwriter furthers. "He's got a big heart and he is a very positive, upbeat person. It just feels like him."
"Get Along" is the first single off Kenny Chesney's upcoming album.
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