Story Behind the Song: John Paul White (feat. Lee Ann Womack), ‘This Isn’t Gonna End Well’
John Paul White didn't originally intend for his song "This Isn't Gonna End Well," off of 2019's The Hurting Kind, to be a duet. However, once he listened to the track, he couldn't deny that the story made more sense when told by two people.
When considering who to cut the track with, he instantly thought of Lee Ann Womack. Below, White explains why.
I'd known [Womack] for a while. We would always bump into each other at certain events, especially when she wasn't doing as much of the mainstream Music Row country thing, but was doing her own thing. We started bumping into each other at festivals, or at the Americana Awards, or whatever. It was just a mutual admiration. And we'd always do what songwriters and artists do all the time: "We should work on something! Yeah, let's do that!" And then you never do.
With that song, I didn't write it as a duet. I wrote that one with Bobby Braddock, but as I was doing the work tape, I started paying attention and realizing -- this wasn't a one-way conversation.
This isn't just one person knowing it's a bad idea. It's stronger if two people are saying it to each other, not that one knows it's a bad idea but the other doesn't, and is pushing. It would just feel like a stalker song that way, like, "Oh, God, please stop pressuring me into this." I didn't want it to feel like that, so I thought it made it stronger for it to be a duet.
And I immediately thought of [Womack]. I feel like her voice fits on just about anything she wants. I've heard her sing with other people, and we'd done a Cayamo cruise together a couple of times. I watched her sit and sing in with other people, and her voice is -- she's not a chameleon, where she can change her voice to fit -- which I do a lot -- but she does a thing ... that always works, [with a] male or female.
So I was really excited to take a shot at that. It clicked quickly, and I'm really proud of it.