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Little Big Town, ‘Lean Into It’ — Story Behind the Lyrics

James Minchin

When the members of Little Big Town and their longtime collaborator Wayne Kirkpatrick wrote ‘Lean Into It,’ the lyrics came from a very personal place for each of the band members. Individually and as a group, they have weathered a host of professional and personal storms in their rise to the top … but they have always persevered. Group member Karen Fairchild tells The Boot about writing the song and how it’s become a touchstone for their fans.

We had been writing with Wayne, and he was talking about how much we’ve been through together. He said he was inspired to write a song after thinking about how much each of us had been through since forming the band. Some people think that things have always been easy for us, but we’ve been through a lot of personal and professional tragedies — a lot. We’ve always done what we had to do to get to the other side.

We started talking about it and how you have to rely on those you love, and faith and life to get through things. We all wrote the song together. We wanted to tell how when trouble comes, you should lean into it and you’ll make it to the other side. That’s what we did and we made it to the other side as a unit.

It’s a message of hope, really, and very powerful. It has a life of its own and we feel like it was a gift that we wrote it. We get a lot of tweets from fans about it. One fan just tweeted that she needed ‘Lean Into It’ more than ever today, and I thought, ‘Man, that is what we write songs for.’

The song can have a lot of different meanings, too. We went to Biloxi [Miss.] after the oil spill and played it and it was so powerful. We could see people crying. That was so powerful. I will never forget that night. It’s just a very special song.

Watch a fan video of Little Big Town performing ‘Lean Into It’ live below.

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