Story Behind the Song: Jon Pardi, ‘Head Over Boots’
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Jon Pardi earned his first No. 1 hit with “Head Over Boots,” the debut single from his sophomore album, California Sunrise. The song, which Pardi co-wrote with tunesmith Luke Laird, sold more than one million copies, kicking off Pardi’s second record on a high note. Below, Pardi and Laird recall the day they wrote the chart-topping tune.
Jon Pardi: I was based in Texas, when my dad brought me to a dance hall, around his area, which is outside San Antonio. I was drinking a beer, sitting down on the benches and watching older couples dance and younger couples dance. I really wanted a song that would make everybody want to dance and fit in that atmosphere. The next day, I woke up and had a cup of coffee and came up with the melody and “I want to sweep you off your feet tonight / I want to love you and hold you tight / Spin you around on some old dance floor.”
I knew it was awesome; I knew the melody, there was something special about it. I saw Luke coming up in my dates [for writing appointments], and I was like, “I think maybe Luke will help me with that one,” so I saved it for him and played it for him, and we made it come to this love story. If you’re going to have a dancing song, I want it, first of all, to have a good dance beat, but also, it talks about dancing and falling in love and having a good time.
Luke Laird: Jon literally came in, sat down, started playing that shuffle groove. He had the title and sang the first few lines. I was the lucky guy who was in the room that day.
From the first time I head Jon — I was such a huge fan of his first record. When Jon sits down with a guitar, what he does naturally is already so unique. It’s so country, like you’ve heard it before, but you’ve never heard it before. When I try and write with artists, that’s what I look for.
I love that we could write a straight-ahead country song, and it was completely authentic to who Jon is as an artist. I was just fortunate to be along for the ride.