Carrie Underwood on 'Southbound': It's 'Tricky' to Write a Drinking Song as a Woman

Carrie Underwood's latest single, "Southbound," which she wrote with Josh Miller and her Cry Pretty producer, David Garcia, is the perfect summer anthem. Underwood knew she wanted to write a song that was uptempo and light-hearted, especially for the warm weather season, but she had no idea how challenging the song would become for her.

“We get in a room, and I had the title," Underwood recalled to her record label. "I was like, 'This sounds like fun, I think. We can do something fun with this.' But then you realize how tricky for some reason it is to be a woman and write kind of a drinking party boat song. It’s strange. You wouldn’t think it would be any different, but for some reason, I feel like a guy could get away with saying this line that we just threw out there, but I can’t for some reason."

"Southbound," which says in part, "Moe got a ticket and our old wigs on / But Katie's the one that should take it slow / 'Cause she's dancin' on the dock and it's only two o'clock / Yeah, the fish ain't bitin' 'cause the party's on / The old men are thinkin' 'bout goin' home / But those redneck margaritas are two for one at that old marina," became a challenge for Underwood to portray the female character in a way that wasn't derogatory.

"I used Katie in the song as an example," Underwood explained. "So, Katie, we wanted to make her have a little too much fun, but for every line we came out with, it was like, 'Well, we don’t want it to be sad.' We still had to make Katie have a little respect but wanted to just get it out there that some people were having too much fun.

"It surprisingly took us a while to write it but by the end of it, it was like, ‘Well, this is a lot of fun,'" she added. "I feel like everybody kind of gravitated towards that one when we were all done with it.”

When the American Idol alum released Cry Pretty in September, she hinted that "Southbound" was a challenge for her to get right.

“It’s a party song about being at the lake, having a great time, and people are drinking redneck margaritas,” Underwood told CMT. “I’m not going to be like, ‘cutoff jeans,’ you know what I mean? There are certain lyrics that it’s like guys can get away with, and it’s easier. We had to spend a little more time writing this fun song.”

Underwood is getting ready to hit the road on her Cry Pretty Tour 360, with Maddie & Tae and Runaway June serving as her opening acts. The tour begins on May 1. Find dates on Underwood's website.


Download "Southbound" on iTunes.

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