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Story Behind the Song: Lady Antebellum, ‘Hello World’

Lady Antebellum‘s “Hello World” — the fourth single from their Need You Now album — is a song that literally took years to write. As songwriter David Lee explains to The Boot, he began the tune years and years ago, but it wasn’t until he linked up with fellow tunesmiths Tom Douglas and Tony Lane that “Hello World” became the song it is.

When Lady A released the song in October of 2010, it earned a Top 10 spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart (No. 6) and landed just outside the Top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 (No. 58).

The idea for this song is an old one: It was originally called “Hello Heart.” I started it when I was 27 years old … a long time ago … I wrote a chorus and pretty much most of the song a different way. And then I put it down, turned away from it and didn’t think of it again for at least 10 years.

I got with Tony Lane, and we sat down and talked about it one day. We tried to write it, tried to come up with some ideas, and finally came up with the chorus. But the rhymes weren’t gelling. Then we got Tom Douglas in on it. Together, Tom and Tony helped to turn this into something that made it a great song.

Tom’s great; he was on Lady A’s “I Run to You.” He actually had the idea to change this song to “Hello World,” because we couldn’t get the rhyme right. “Hello Heart” didn’t have the feel. Tom got a hold of it and started messing around with it on his piano. Then he called me and said, “Hey, what about “Hello World?”” He also had an idea to change the first verse.

If Tom Douglas and Tony Lane hadn’t helped me, this song wouldn’t be what it is, that’s for sure. It really did turn it into something, but I had this song idea so long ago that I’d just forgotten about it. It’s a big ballad … It’s really powerful. It’s one of those kind of songs you could see being a world kind of thing: a big song. I’m really proud of it and really excited about it.

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