Rascal Flatts, ‘I Won’t Let Go’ — Story Behind the Lyrics
Jason Sellers sits down with The Boot to reveal the spiritual inspiration behind Rascal Flatts‘ current hit, ‘I Won’t Let Go,’ which he wrote with Steve Robson (who also co-wrote Rascal Flatts’ Grammy-nominated song, ‘What Hurts the Most’) … and the message he hopes others will hear in the lyrics.
‘I Won’t Let Go’ is special to me because I’m a Christian. It felt like to me, because we didn’t define the character in the song, it could be a friend saying it to a friend, it could in some sense be God saying it to someone, it could be you saying it to your husband or wife … So in that sense, the song’s exciting to me, because it’s got an inspirational message. It says something good that lifts people up.
I wrote this song with Steve Robson about two years ago. He’s from England, and he and Darrell Franklin had some deal together, where Darrell handles Steve’s co-writes and publishing. So he set me and Steve up. This was the first song Steve and I ever wrote together. He came over from England, and we worked on the melody and the direction of the lyrics. Steve is an incredible writer. We didn’t have to spend that much time on it. He had a musical piece already going. It just felt so inspired, and we built on that.
After Steve left, I poured over what we had a lot more, because I loved the message and I wanted to make it as close to right as I could make it. I was thinking, if you were quoting what someone was saying in their own words … if they were saying this to someone in the family that’s a soldier that’s over there fighting, or to your mom, dad, wife, husband … I think everyone wants to have someone say to them, “Hey, I can’t stop it from raining on you, but I will be here to help you get through.”
We get emails from people — and I know a lot of artists and labels do, too — how a song touches someone’s life. I do this for a living, and I’m trying to make money … but when you get those kinds of stories and feedback, you really feel like you had some contribution. With an uplifting lyric like that, maybe it gives somebody hope to move forward and make it through another day, through whatever their trauma or disaster is, or even just getting tired in life.
Watch Rascal Flatts perform ‘I Won’t Let Go’ live in our studio below.