Carrie Underwood Recalls Difficulty Writing Party Song 'Southbound'

Carrie Underwood's new album, Cry Pretty, was released on Friday, Sept. 14, and the project is full of diverse offerings celebrating every aspect of Underwood's personality and musical style.

Like many a country album, Cry Pretty wasn't complete without a feel-good party anthem, and for this record that song was "Southbound," an upbeat track perfect for summer that describes a day with friends at the lake.

"We got a got a pontoon boat with a Yamaha / people dressed like they're in Panama / small town spring break / every weekend 'round this place," Underwood sings.

The star wrote the song with David Garcia and Josh Miller, and revealed to that the summertime tune was one of the hardest for her to write.

“I don’t know if there was one specific line that was the hardest to write, but there was a song called ‘Southbound,’ that was kind of surprisingly hard to write for being just a fun light song," she said. "But because it was a fun party song it was interesting just to write it not from some [guy] singing it. It’s a lot easier to write a party song if you’re a guy.”

The second verse of the song finds Underwood talking about a character named Katie, who's "dancing on the dock / and it's only two o'clock."

“We have this one character — her name’s Katie — and we were trying to say she’s had a little too much to drink, but we wanted to make sure Katie was still just having fun and it was respectable and it wasn’t [trashy]," Underwood explained of the line.

The rest of the track features nods to "redneck margaritas," "gas station cheap sunglasses" and more, giving listeners an instant window into the world Underwood and her co-writers created in the song.

“It’s a party song about being at the lake, having a great time, and people are drinking redneck margaritas,” Underwood shared. “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 writing this fun song.”

Fans can expect to hear this track, along with others on Cry Pretty, when Underwood hits the road on tour next year for her Cry Pretty Tour 360. She will be joined by Maddie + Tae and Runaway June, with Underwood telling the Women Want to Hear Women podcast that she's happy to be able to support fellow female acts.


"First and foremost, they've earned it," she said. "I'm not throwing anybody a bone by taking them out on tour with me. They deserve to be there and they're gonna put on a great show, and I'm already proud of all that they've done. I'm a fan. But it's good when women support women."

Photo Credit: Getty / Christopher Polk