Story Behind the Song: Lee Ann Womack, ‘Last Call’
Erin Enderlin and Shane McAnally are the tunesmiths behind Lee Ann Womack's 2008 single "Last Call." The song was released as the first single from the singer's 2008 Call Me Crazy album and became a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, eventually peaking at No. 14 in February of 2009. Below, Enderlin and McAnally tell The Boot how the song came to be.
Enderlin: Shane starts talking about an old flame that called him out of the blue. Even though the infamous one's name was removed from Shane's phone, the number itself still stopped him in his tracks, like it was branded in his memory.
Taking in Shane's story, I started playing the chords he was riffing on, and out poured the first couple lines of the song. It was amazing how easily the story came together. Shane and I went back and forth, trading lines and chords ... the song became almost like a zipper, pulling our two creative minds together.
I write a lot of songs, but it is still amazing to me how, every so often, the right combination of ideas, craft and creativity come together to make something so magical that it seems to have a life of its own and has the ability to move people, even if they haven't been in that specific situation. I've rarely experienced something more powerful than the connection that comes from a great song, and "Last Call" is one of those songs.
McAnally: I remember something Erin had said to me a few weeks before, about the practice of showing up every day at a scheduled time to write. She said, "I know that I won't write something great every day, but I just show up so that when God walks through the room, I will be there." On this particular day, God walked through the room, and we were there.
I think the zipper metaphor was a perfect way to describe the way it unfolded: She would sing a line, and I would sing a line, and so on. I do remember the moment I realized that something big was going on -- when she was trying to figure out the melody for the chorus, and she sang the following "dummy" lyric: "I bet you're in a bar." A "dummy" lyric is a reference to putting any words that come to mind together, just to create a structure and a melody. [But] this "dummy" lyric was far from dumb! I thought it was brilliant.
I actually was convinced that "I bet you're in a bar" was the title of the song. The hook, "Last Call," later unveiled itself, and the rest is country music history.