To be "bucked off" is to fall off a bull or similar animal after it reared up in an attempt to shake off its rider. This goofy country heartbreaker finds Brad Paisley likening an impending breakup to a rodeo.
Whenever someone says we need to talk
It feels like there's a number
Pinned on to the back of my shirt
'Cause this is where the cowboy gets bucked off
Speaking in an interview with Storme Warren on SiriusXM's The Highway channel, Paisley explained that "Bucked Off" is "a honky-tonk song" with a strong throwback vibe. "I came of age during the golden era for us, which was the late '80s, early '90s, and that time period... you had so many different things on the radio, but one of the things that was kind of consistent was the rodeo songs - the metaphors and the analogies to that way of life," he said, "and I realized as I was writing songs for this new record, I've never done one of those."
Paisley called the heartbreak song his "George Strait moment." He references the King of Country Music's song "The Cowboy Rides Away" in the first verse.
And George Strait's on the jukebox in the corner
Singing about cowboys riding away, but
This ain't my first rodeo
Paisley worked with Dann Huff on "Bucked Off." The producer has collaborated with bands and artists in both the country and hard rock fields, and he incorporated both genres on this song. "If you turn the song on in the verse, it's the country-est thing on the radio," Paisley explained, "and then if you turn it on in the chorus, it's about the rockin'-est thing on the radio right now."
Brad Paisley took a quick break from his co-hosting duties at the 2018 CMA Awards on November 14, 2018, to debut this song at the ceremony. Immediately afterwards it was released to radio.
The song's music video was filmed at one of Nashville's most famous honky-tonks, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge on the city's Lower Broadway. That footage is intercut with clips submitted by Paisley's fans of themselves breaking things off with their partners. There is also some film of rodeo thrown in for good measure.