6 Songs You Didn’t Know Eric Church Wrote for Other Artists

Since his debut, Sinners Like Me, in 2006, Eric Church has always had his own country formula, fused with hard rock and his own outlaw tendencies, from “Guys Like Me,” “How ‘Bout You,”and “Love Your Love the Most,” “Hell on the Heart,” to his 10 No. 1s, including “Drink in My Hand,” “Springsteen,” “Give Me Back My Hometown,” “Record Year,” and “Hell of a View.”

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The North Carolina native moved to Nashville in the early 2000s, wrote a few songs for other artists, and made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry in 2006. After surviving a health scare that nearly cost him his life in 2017 when he had emergency surgery to treat anthoracic outlet syndrome—a condition where the uppermost rib is within close proximity to the collarbone, which can cause a blood clot— Church released Desperate Man a year later.

Over a 15-year span, Church has released seven albums, including Heart & Soul in 2021, which he recorded during a 28-day trip, isolated in the mountains of North Carolina during the pandemic.

In between his own releases, Church has also collaborated with Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan (“The Only Way I Know”), Rhiannon Giddens (“Kill a Word”), and Keith Urban (“Raise ‘Em Up”), among others over the years.

Here are six songs Church also wrote for other artists along the way.

1. “The World Needs a Drink,” Terri Clark (2004)
Written by Eric Church and Casey Michael Beathard 

Canadian country singer Terri Clark initially released “The World Needs a Drink” in 2004 as a one-off single that wasn’t linked to any particular album. The song was co-written by a then-unknown Church, who later released his own live version of the track more than a decade later on 61 Days in Church, a box set featuring 124 tracks recorded live throughout 61 shows on his Holdin’ My Own Tour in 2017.

Turn on the TV
More crime in the streets
More trouble in the middle east
And fires out west
Politicians slingin dirt
Got descension in the church
Another law suit in the works
Man you talk about a mess
Too much tension between miss liberty and the eiffel tower
It’s about time we all made up at some big happy hour
I think the world needs a drink
I think enoughs enough

2. “Whiskey Wings,” Dean Miller (2005)
Written by Eric Church and Dean Miller

Dean Miller, son of the late country artist Roger Miller (“King of the Road”), released three albums from his eponymous debut in 1997 through ‘Til You Stop Getting Up in 2014. For his second album, Platinum, Church co-wrote one track with Miller, an ode to finding one’s salvation by drinking some whiskey.

Miller—who has written songs for George Jones, Trace Adkins, Hank Williams III, Mark Chesnutt, Trisha Yearwood, and Terri Clark, among others—hasn’t released his own music in nearly a decade but continues to write and produce music.

I’m gonna pick myself a bar stool
Sit there like a king
Forget I ever lost you
Pour myself a drink
Search for my redemption
Try runnin from the past
Reach for my salvation
In the bottom of this glass

3. “Life Off My Years,” Lee Brice (2012)
Written by Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Michael Heeney

On Lee Brice‘s second album second studio album, Hard 2 Love, “Life Off My Years” was an ode to living life to its fullest. Hard 2 Love peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, and No. 2 on Top Country Albums chart.

Some’s born to take life safe and easy,
I was born to live life on a dare
I never worried about the fall, y’all,
Just how high I got in the air
Flipping dirt bikes and rolling daddy’s truck,
The highs kept me smiling through the tears,
I’ll take years off my life
Before I’ll take life off my years

4. “Don’t Blame It On Whiskey,” Jon Pardi, featuring Lauren Alaina (2019)
Written by Eric Church, Miranda LambertLuke Laird, Michael P. Heeney

“Don’t Blame It On Whiskey” was initially co-written with Miranda Lambert, Luke Laird, and Michael Heeney for Church’s 2011 album, Chief, but it never made the cut. Shelved for several years, it resurfaced for Jon Pardi‘s third album, Heartache Medication, when an A & R rep dug up the original demo.

The song follows a couple who are near breaking up and are forced to be honest about their relationship, and not blame it on whiskey.

But don’t blame it on whiskey
No, this ain’t about a drink
Don’t let alcohol take the fall
For all these thoughts I think
Let’s get down to the bottom
And not just the bottom of the glass
This heartbreak train’s pickin’ up steam
And we’re standin’ on the track
Yeah, I can blame it on you
Or you can blame it on me
But don’t blame it on whiskey

5. “We Were,” Keith Urban (2019)
Written by Erich Church, Ryan Tyndell, Jeff Hyde

When Keith Urban learned that Church was one of the writers of “We Were,” he asked him to also sing on the track, featured on his 11th album, The Speed of Now Part 1. The two had an earlier duet on the single “Raise ‘Em Up,” which was featured on Urban’s fifth album, Fuse, and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

We were just a couple years short of the age
By my name on a fake ID
And still ’bout a hundred away from the day
Your daddy said you could run with me
We were a couple of line steppers
Who just couldn’t wait to step over the line
Never thinkin’ we wouldn’t last
I was your first and you were mine

6. “Jacksonville to Jackson Hole,” The Wild Feathers (2019)
Written by Church and Casey Beathard

On the mid-tempo and nostalgic “Jacksonville to Jackson Hole,” The Wild Feathers reflect on one’s younger and wilder days. Nashville-based country rockers released the track, co-written by Church—one of the band’s favorite songwriters—as a single in 2019.

“Eric is one of our favorite songwriters, so having the opportunity to take one of his songs and make it our own is huge for us,” said vocalist Ricky Young. “We’re especially excited about this new song because it captures the highway in a way that everyone can relate to.”

And we rocked as we rolled
Went from sunshine to snow
It was look out below
Up on Copper mountain
We were free as the wind
Didn’t want it to end
Wasn’t love we were in, but we had it surrounded
Yeah I still take that trip down memory road
From Jacksonville to Jackson Hole

Photo: Reid Long / Essential Broadcast Media (EBM) PR

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