Story Behind the Song: Heather Morgan, ‘Arms of a Lion’
Heather Morgan's debut album, Borrowed Heart, includes a special collaboration with one of her most influential mentors, artist and songwriter Lori McKenna. It was, to a large degree, McKenna who helped Morgan find the blueprint she needed to transition from a full-time, successful songwriter to a performer releasing music in her own right.
Read on to learn the story of the co-writing session that led to one of Borrowed Heart's most powerful tracks, "Arms of a Lion."
We had already written a song on day one, and we had three days to write. It was the end of day one, and I was so excited about writing that song idea with her that we were about to go to dinner, and I was like, "I really want to tell you about my idea for tomorrow."
I threw it out there and said, "I really want to write a song called "Arms of a Lion."" And her whole face [just lit up]. She was really excited about it. We were already done writing for the day, but she got up and went over to her piano that she has in her writing space and started playing this really beautifully haunting chorus. So she kind of laid down a little idea that we came back to the next day. I love that she got it right away.
It was such an awesome metaphor. I really enjoy metaphors like that, and I always used metaphors for life lessons growing up. It's one of those ways to explain the world, and I love that you can be descriptive and still make sense. We were talking about the meaning of it, and I definitely think it could apply to a relationship. It's like when you think of a relationship as one thing, and then, later on, you look at it, and you were so close to something that was so dangerous -- dangerous for your heart. Something that you thought of as comforting, but looking back on it, you're like, "Oh my God."
I remember having this moment, like, "Wow, what if the lion is like the lie you buy into?" Whether it's that you're not good enough, or just the way the world sometimes tells you that you're not enough just the way you are. The lion is that you get close to believing a lie. And then you realize, no, you can do whatever you want.