Carrie Underwood wanted her new song “Drinking Alone” to be in her own words so that she could tell her own story about drinking to drown out her sorrows.
The country singer opened up about the new ballad, which lays out her rules for drinking after a heartbreak. In an interview with Billboard Country Update (via CMT), Carrie explained that she didn’t want the song to be about getting drunk and hooking up.
So the song ended up explaining her rules for post-breakup drinking, in her words.
“It was important to me because we’re singing this (in the) first person. I didn’t want it to be like, ‘Oh, we’re going to get drunk and go home together,’ because that’s not something that I would do,” Underwood said.
The singer added that if she’s singing about a more “extreme kind of character” that is not at all like her, she would rather sing in the third person or put it in a context where it’s clear that she’s not speaking for herself.
Carrie went on to say she loved how upfront she could be in the song, revealing that she’s not the type to get drunk and go home with somebody. Carrie has been working hard to dispel some misconceptions about the tune, which could arise at least in part due to the sultry music video. In another recent interview, Carrie said that she loves how the song is centered around a strong female character who doesn’t need to lean on a man to get through a rough time.
She made it clear that there would be nothing too romantic going on between them.
“I love that the character – I was like, ‘I don’t want her going home with him.’ I don’t want any of that. I just want it to be like, ‘Okay we’ll just hang out. We’ll drink. We’ll maybe share a corner booth kiss,'” she said (via PopCulture), referencing one of the song lyrics.
Underwood said the idea for the song came through brainstorming with frequent collaborator Brett James, who also composed her No. 1 song “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” As the PopCulture report noted, Carrie said she had an idea for a song around the idea of “drinking alone” and James expanded it, wondering if it could be two people “drinking alone together.” Carrie said the song took off from there, growing into a ballad about a strong woman getting over heartache by “being miserable together” with a man going through the same thing.