How Miranda Lambert and Her Bus Driver Came Up with “Settling Down”



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There’s a new Miranda Lambert song on country radio stations and streams this week. It’s called “Settling Down,” and she says it’s for the fans who have that restless roaming spirit, but also love the comfort of home.

And in a recent radio interview, Lambert recalled that the idea for the song came to her during a conversation with her tour bus driver. (Back when tours were a thing and drivers drove artists and bands from town to town to town. Remember that?)

“I was talking with my bus driver one day,” Lambert said. “We were both going through something hard, and there’s no better way to talk about it than over the highway, right? We both at the time were like, ’Are we settling up or are we settling down?’ With people, with life, with our situations, like what’s going on?

“I kind of wrote that in my phone, and Natalie (Hemby) had this line when I went in to write with her and Luke (Dick), ’Should I give up sunsets for marigold mornings?’ And I thought that was so pretty, I said, ’Well that might go with this kind of idea that I have.’ Of course Luke had this beautiful melody ready to roll.”

Then Lambert met her husband Brendan McLoughlin. They were married in February 2019. But when they were just dating, maybe even starting to fall in love a little bit, she kept on writing the song.

“And so I’m getting on a bus, but I’m also going home to be with someone I love. So it’s this juxtaposition of, ’Can I do both? Is that okay? Should I feel bad that I’m home or should I feel bad that I’m leaving?’ Because you get antsy when you’re used to moving and going, and having been touring since I was seventeen. So having time off and meeting my husband and being a person going to family breakfasts and birthday parties and stuff, it was like, ’Well when are we leaving? Where’s the bus?’

“For a while, it took me a minute to get used to that,” she added. “Wherever the people that you love are is home, so it can be anywhere. But it was a cool song to write at the very time that we needed to write it, because I feel like a lot of people feel that way: that they have this gypsy spirit, and they want to be rock ‘n’ roll, but they also love having a morning at home with their bare feet on their own kitchen floor.”

She calls that an amazing struggle to deal with, and one that she doesn’t see herself getting too comfortable in.

“My mom always tells me, it’s where the line comes from but she’d always say, ’You’re a wild child and homing pigeon.’ Because I really love to be home, I love my animals and my family and making casseroles and just listening to Merle Haggard. I love to be on my own porch. But I also am like, ’I can leave and be ready to go anywhere in fifteen minutes. I just need a guitar and some fringe, and I’m ready to roll out the door. Everything else you can buy at Target.’ I have this itch always to find a new adventure, but I’m always so ready to just walk through my own front door.”

Next up for Lambert is the CMT Music Awards on Oct. 21, where she is nominated for video of the year and female video of the year.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.

@alisonbonaguro





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