Story Behind the Song: Sugarland, ‘It Happens’
Released in February of 2009 as the third single from Love on the Inside, “It Happens” was written by Sugarland‘s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush with Bobby Pinson. The song followed “All I Want to Do” and “Already Gone,” also written by that trio and also No. 1 hits, and became Sugarland’s fifth No. 1 song in May of 2009; it was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group.
Below, Pinson shares with The Boot his memories of how “It Happens” came to be.
I had a list of ideas. I just wasn’t sure where to take that thing because obviously it was built around “shhhh … it happens;” it was just a little play on words. This day of trying to be radio safe, you just don’t know where the good place to take that is.
We had this really cool melody, and we laid it out there and recorded it; they had it down as “Bobby’s Melody Ideas.” I came back the next time, which turned out to be the magical weekend. We wrote all four songs off [Love on the Inside] — “All I Want to Do,” “It Happens,” “Already Gone” and “Keep You” — that week, and this was the last one [we wrote].
They were like, “Let’s listen to some of the stuff from our last trip.” That little melody was still there. In the meantime, I had come up with the idea of “It Happens,” which I hadn’t the first time. So we put it on there.
It was just a really fun song. We started it before a show and then finished it the next day. We were just carrying it around, and I was having one of those days where you go, “Sometimes things just happen!”
When you write with somebody [often], it’s kind of like your left and right hand: You just know what they’re going to like and dislike. Writing four songs in a week, you really learn what their tendencies are. Of course, the whole world knows [Nettles’] tendencies are just being light, off-the-cuff and country. It fit perfect for this song. It was good for us because we’ve done light, we’ve done poppier light, but this is a pretty down-the-middle country song with a lot of their fun mixed into it.
This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Stefano.