American Scandal

Album: Girl Going Nowhere (2018)
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Songfacts®:

  • Written by Ashley McBryde with Randall Clay and Terri Jo Box, this song tells the story of a romance as disreputable as John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe's.

    "I was complaining about love songs and how I haven't heard one in a long time that I believed," McBryde recalled to Billboard. "All I wanted to say is something that I would believe in if you said it to me and if you said it in a way that's not so feathery and crap. I would want it to feel almost scandalous. I would want it to be like Kennedy and Monroe."
  • The song's music video, directed by Horatio Baltz, follows a typical day for McBryde in her Little Rock, Arkanas hometown. We see her get a tattoo, play with her godsons and drink with friends at Reno's, a bar she played at for 11 years before signing with Warner Music Nashville. So why doesn't the clip address the song's lyrical message? McBryde explained to Billboard:

    "The viewer gets to imprint their own love story onto it. For us to literally take it and show what it might mean would almost be neutering."
  • The Boot asked Ashley McBryde what made her decide to approach penning a love song as a scandalous kind of love. She replied:

    "It came from me not liking love songs. Love songs are all about how I'll move a mountain for you and I'll never hurt your feelings. I've never been given a mountain, and if you love me, you should hurt my feelings sometimes. If I walk outside looking ugly in that shirt, you don't love me if you don't hurt my feelings a little bit and tell me. I wanted something that people could actually believe when they hear it.

    You have the most fun, and love is best, when it's just wrong enough to feel good. Everybody thinks this is a cheating song, but that kind of love is possible in a very committed relationship. My stepfather still shows my mother off; he's proud to walk through the door with her as if it would be a scandal. It should feel wrong, but it should be right."

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