Leave it to a global pandemic to stir a bowl of emotions. “Wasted On You,” the fourth and final single off Morgan Wallen‘s album, Dangerous: The Double Album, was one song that came from a lingering heartbreak.
Videos by American Songwriter
“It just came from a pretty, almost like a pissed off place, and just about being wasted time,” said Wallen on the meaning in 2021. “I think we all can relate to that. We’ve all been through that.”
Bourbon and Breakups Meaning
Written by Wallen, along with Josh Thompson, Ernest K. Smith, and Ryan Vojtesa, the breakup ballad reflects on getting over an ex, while knocking back some bourbon.
I don’t always wake up in the mornin’
Pour myself a strong one
Ah, but when I get lonely I do
Your memory gets burnin’
Lean back on the bourbon
Sure as hell can’t keep leanin’ on you
Looks like I’m learnin’ the hard way again
It’s all my fault
Yeah, I dropped the ball
You’re gone and I’m gone three sheets to the wind
Thinking ’bout all I’ve wasted on you
“The subject matter seemed right, and we originally just wrote it with just a guitar vocal and we brought in to my producer and went to the band that we record with and they took it a direction a little similar to the guitar vocal,” shared Wallen on how the song came together musically.
“I told my producer it seemed like something was missing so we added a little bit extra,” he added. “We ended up adding that beat in the chorus, that genre-bending thing … I don’t know. I wanted to experiment a little bit on this album, and that’s one of the songs that I did the most on, I would say.”
Learning the Hard Way
By the third verse, the lyrics steer toward Wallen taking some of the blame for the split.
Yeah, I swore this one’d be different
My heart wouldn’t listen to my head and these boots on my feet
Looks like I’m learning the hard way again
That’s why I’ve been
Wasted on you
Life After ‘The Voice’
After competing on the sixth season of The Voice, Wallen moved to Nashville in 2015 and began dating Katie Smith on and off beginning in 2017. Smith gave birth to their son Indie in 2020, and the lyrics are believed to be about his relationship with her.
No. 1 Records
“Wasted On You” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart just as Dangerous: The Double Album hit the top of the Top Country Albums chart, making Wallen the first artist to simultaneously debut at the top of both charts.
Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images