Story Behind the Song: Keith Urban, ‘Break on Me’
Keith Urban earned his 20th No. 1 hit in March of 2016 with "Break on Me," the second single from his Ripcord album. Written by Ross Copperman and Jon Nite, the song, with lines that include, "Break on me / Shatter like glass / Come apart in my hands / Take as long as it takes, girl / Break on me / Put your head on my chest / Let me help you forget / When your heart needs to break / Just break on me," came at a fortuitous (albeit sad) time, when both Urban and his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, were grieving the loss of their fathers. Below Copperman, Nite and Urban recall the day they wrote "Break on Me," and explain why everyone knew it was the perfect song for Urban.
Jon Nite: I think we were supposed to write with Dierks Bentley that day -- someone canceled on us. I had, for several months, been playing this little melody that eventually became the chorus melody. I came over to Ross’s studio.
This one was quite a long write; it was hours and hours of just talking through life. My daughter had just gone to college, so I was kind of freaked out about that. She’s in her dorm, which she hates, and she’s been wanting to come home, and I was like, "No, you can’t come home." Ross was talking to me about friends of his that had trouble with having babies and all this kind of stuff. We didn’t have anything until probably two hours later, and I had a hook from years and years back that I just said, "This kind of feels like what we’re talking about," and then he did all his magic stuff.
Ross Copperman: Keith is always the first one for me that comes to mind, because a lot of my natural melodies and stuff, the way I write -- Jon too -- I feel like Keith was a huge influence of mine, so that comes through in the way I write songs. He’s usually the first person I think of with any song I write, because it’s just natural for me to go that route.
Keith Urban: I’ve been really lucky and blessed to be able to cut some songs that have been really written from the heart. I felt that way when I heard "You’ll Think of Me." I felt that way when I heard "Making Memories of Us." And when I heard this song, it felt like it was cut from that cloth.
For me, the way I felt about it, I knew that it came from a real place. [Nashville]’s a very smart town. Everyone can rhyme words, be really clever with lyricism. But for me, there’s certain songs that they resonate in a different way, because they come from a place of truth, and this song for me had that -- a place of truth in it.
I wanted to do the song justice because I feel like I’ve been on both sides of this song. I’ve definitely had people be that rock for me, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to be that rock for others as well, so I could relate to the song so strongly. I feel really honored that I got sent the song, got to record it.
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