Story Behind the Song: William Michael Morgan, ‘I Met a Girl’
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William Michael Morgan earned a No. 1 hit with his debut single, “I Met a Girl.” The song, from Morgan’s freshman album, Vinyl, was written by Shane McAnally, Old Dominion‘s Trevor Rosen and Sam Hunt, before the latter two had record deals of their own. Morgan says that, although he didn’t write the song, it resonated with him when he recorded it, and rings even more true now that he has a baby girl and is engaged to Runaway June‘s Jennifer Wayne.
Recently, McAnally, Rosen and Morgan sat down with The Boot and other reporters to recall the day the song was written, and the path it took to become Morgan’s first hit.
Shane McAnally: It was just kind of a typical writing day, where we all just get together. At that time, we wrote with Sam a lot, and not necessarily, at that point, for any specific project, or if he was going to be an artist. We didn’t know; we were just writing. We were writing at that time a lot; Trevor wasn’t as busy as he is now, nor was Sam.
It was just one of those days where, I don’t really remember how it all came together. I would be surprised if any of us came in and said, “Let’s write a song, “I Met a Girl;”” that doesn’t sound like something we would start with. But the chorus and the flow and the way that’s laid out feels very much like something we would start with, and then probably would have written something …
When you have that many colors and that many pieces, it’s kind of nice to just land on something simple like “I Met a Girl.” It really gives you room to color up the verses with “tilt-a-whirl” and “blue-jean pearls” and things like that.
Trevor Rosen: I remember when [label executives] Scott Hendricks and Cris Lacy brought us in to listen. They said, “We cut this song on this new artist. You’ve never heard of him, but we’re proud of it.” When I heard it, I thought it was a lot different than the demo; it was very country, but it was beautiful and amazing. But, at the time, there was this real movement at radio, where they weren’t playing songs like this. I thought to myself, “I don’t know if this will ever get played, but it really sounds cool and amazing,” but it was very different.
William Michael Morgan: I fell in love with with the song. Obviously I wasn’t a writer on it, but that was one of the things that I fell in love with, was the pictures … That’s what really caught my attention as far as wanting to cut the song.
I think it was one of those songs that, out of the whole session, it was one that we couldn’t stop listening to, and one that really just kind of pried at us.
McAnally: “I Met a Girl,” those are real images that he keeps talking about; those are real things that happened to us. The three of us in the room were trying to go back to moments — My little girl thinks that “I Met a Girl” is about her. It was actually written before she was born, but I do love that it can live in that world, because now I kind of can’t remember that it’s not about her.
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