This is one of four songs on Carnival Ride
that Carrie Underwood co-wrote, three more than on her debut. She was assisted by Hillary Lindsey and Luke Laird. It is the first single for which the American Idol
winner has a writing credit. Lindsey also co-wrote "Wasted
" and "Jesus, Take The Wheel
" on Underwood's debut album and several other songs on Carnival Ride
Underwood describes the song on aol.com as: "A feeling song on how people invest so much of their time and energy into things that aren't really important. And you don't really realize that until it's too late. We're all guilty of it, as I know I am, of just letting silly things get in the way. The smallest thing can almost ruin my day, and at some point, I realize, 'Good gracious, Carrie! What are you doing?' I have a great life, and we need to remember the things that are truly important."
When released in September 2007, "So Small" earned the highest first-week sales of any Country airplay single in digital history. The song also debuted at #20 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs' chart, making her the first female to debut in the Hot Country Songs' Top 20 in 43 years.
The video set single day streaming records for CMT.com when it debuted on September 20, 2007. CMT.com aired the video continuously from 6:00am-12:00pm straight, playing it an estimated 66 times, the highest number of one-day streams for a single video on the Country music site.
Carrie Underwood said that she named the album Carnival Ride in honor of the "wonderful craziness" that she's been through in the last few years.
The American Idol champ told Time magazine October 19, 2007 that Carnival Ride differed from her debut album because "I had a lot more to do with this one. We had a lot of time to get in the studio, and I was involved in every process of the entire album making."
Carnival Ride broke the record for the best-selling first week of any Country sophomore album in SoundScan history. It also marked the largest Country debut in digital album chart history. It was the best sales week for a female solo country artist since Shania Twain's Greatest Hits debuted with 530,000 in November 2004.
This was #1 for three weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. On the week of December 22, 2007, it fell from #1 to #10, the biggest fall from the top position since 1996, when Shania Twain's "You Win My Love" plummeted from #1 to #11.
Luke Laird (from American Songwriter): "It was my first time writing with Carrie so Hillary Lindsey (who had written with Carrie numerous times) and I thought it would be good to get together beforehand and come up with ideas. I think even if it's something the artist doesn't like, or if it's not for them, they'll appreciate that you made an effort instead of just winging it. One of our ideas was 'So Small' and we were able to walk in the next day with the idea, some music and the guitar hook."