Heidi Newfield, ‘Stay Up Late’ — Story Behind the Lyrics
Jimmy: It was Sonya's hook, and of course as songwriters we love great hooks. One day she asked me, "Is go to bed early and stay up late a good song title?" I thought it was wonderful. I wrote with Ben the next day, and I asked him the same thing.
Ben: Jimmy Yeary is a good buddy of mine. We get together once a week to write. I knew Sonya, but I'd never written with her. He came in one day and said, "Man, Sonya had a great idea last night: let's go to bed early and stay up late."
Jimmy: He went, "Oh my goodness! That's incredible."
Ben: Me and Jimmy got a good start on it that day. The next week, Sonya came in to help us finish it. She's an unbelievable writer. She has done so many things in the bluegrass and gospel world. She's a great country music writer, and it really clicked with us three. I don't write with many girls. Nothing against them, I just haven't been set up with a lot. That song basically wrote itself pretty quick. It was an easy idea to write.
Jimmy: It happened in a few hours. We demoed it about week later. We knew the first person who heard it was going to cut it. We knew it was magic. Heidi's camp heard it and they cut it. It's a little risqué, but it's fun.
Sonya: It was a little risqué! [laughs] What I love about it, even though the hook of the song is a little risqué, the song is very, very honest. It's not a dirty song; it's not a sex song or anything like that. It's a very mature way of saying, "We need to have some time together."
We were actually at home when I thought of that hook. We had been apart all weekend, and we knew that we really needed some time together. Sometime's it's great just to go to bed and watch TV or just enjoy the night together and not have to get up too early. That's kind of where the idea that I had for that song came from. What's funny about this song is all my roots and connections with gospel music. I was worried about this song being a little too much on the "trashy" side I guess ... a little on the naughty side. I'm not sure how people are going to accept it when they find out that I'm a co-writer on it because the song says, "a little bit later when the wine starts workin', we'll call it a night and close all the curtains ..."