When Chris Janson sat down with Tom Douglas and Scooter Carusoe to write Janson's current single, "Drunk Girl," the three men knew they wanted to write a powerful song. But Janson never imagined how far-reaching the song would go, or the lives it would change — and continues to change.
While at a recent show, Janson met a teenager who detailed to Janson the importance of the message in "Drunk Girl" to his generation.
“This nice young man — a senior in high school — wrote me a handwritten letter and brought it to me in a meet-and-greet. I went back to the bus, I read it, and it was a totally life-changing moment for everybody,” Janson recalled to CMT. “He has seen a lot of women being taken advantage of and vice versa. And the song has had an impact in the community he lives in.
“It’s a brave thing to talk about," he continued, "about taking care of one another, and doing the right thing in those situations.”
"Drunk Girl," which says in part, "Take a drunk girl home / Let her sleep all alone / Leave her keys on the counter, your number by the phone / Pick up her life she threw on the floor / Leave the hall lights on / Walk out and lock the door / That's how she knows the difference between a boy and man / Take a drunk girl home," is impacting listeners of all ages, starting a movement Janson is proud to be part of, even if it is unexpected.
Even an older man shared the song, going to great lengths to make sure the college students he was with got the message.
“He said, ‘I went into my nephew’s fraternity, and I made them play the video on a big screen,’” he told Janson, using a video projector to share the song.
“If a song is impacting like that,” Janson said, “then it’s really changing lives.”
"Drunk Girl" is nominated for two CMA Awards — Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year. It's a welcome acknowledgement for a song Janson originally meant for his four children.
"If our daughters get into a 'Drunk Girl' situation, we want them to be treated with great reverence and respect," Janson told PopCulture.com. "As far as our boys, it's almost more important for our boys, and I have two of each. We want them to be the difference in the boy and a man. There is no exception to the rule. There is no room for error in that matter. And so, that's what we wrote into it and that's the hearts we put behind it.
"To have a Top 10 single on the radio and to have the nominations and all the great praise it's been getting, that's validation of how something's working," he adds. "You just write stuff from your heart, and usually it works."
Janson also is nominated for a CMA Award for New Artist of the Year. The 2018 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Download "Drunk Girl" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Kevin Winter