Keith Urban first performed “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16″ at the 2015 Country Radio Seminar back in February. Then, it was a brand-new, unreleased song; now, it’s his newest single.
The tune “was sent to me a few months ago by one of the songwriters, and I loved it immediately — loved it so much that right before I walked out on stage at the Ryman for CRS a few months back, I thought I’d play the song solo acoustic to see what the audience thought,” Urban says in a press release. “Flash forward, and there’s no doubt that their response that day helped make it the first single from what will be my next album.”
Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman and Josh Osborne wrote “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” and Urban co-produced the song, along with Dann Huff. The singer-songwriter says that the track “resonated deeply” with him.
“I’m the child of backseat freedom / Baptized by rock ‘n’ roll / Marilyn Monroe and the Garden of Eden / Never grow up, and never grow old,” Urban sings in the chorus. “Just another rebel in the great wide open / On the boulevard of broken dreams / And I learned everything I needed to know from John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.” Other lyrics name-check everyone from Don McLean and Kris Kristofferson to John Wayne, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway.
Urban first revealed that he was working on a new album back in late February, shortly before his CRS appearance. At that time, he said he was “sort of doing the preliminary work of figuring out what the next record is.
“… I sort of like the unknowingness of it,” Urban admits. “I get in the studio and don’t know what we’re gonna do, and that can be enlightening and sort of revelatory, or it can be incredibly frustrating.”
Urban will be performing “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16″ at the 2015 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday (June 10). Fans may also get to hear the new tune when Urban plays this weekend’s (June 12-14) 2015 Taste of Country Music Festival and next weekend’s (June 18-21) Country Jam 2015.
“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16″ is available for download on iTunes.