Flatliner

Album: You Should Be Here (2016)
Charted: 56
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song is about a girl who is so attractive, she flatlines Cole Swindell's heart. He is joined by Dierks Bentley, who also praises the woman's beauty - "One kiss from you tonight will send me on to the other side," he sings. The song is the first duet that Swindell has recorded.
  • Speaking to Country Countdown USA's Lon Helton, Swindell said he originally penned the song in around 2012 for Bentley. "I wrote it for him, sent it to him and never heard from him. I don't know if he heard it or didn't like it, but a year or so ago, I was texting with him and sent it to him, and he loved it," he explained. "We talked about it for a while, and sure enough, we got to do it, and it's gonna be awesome. I'm just very excited to be singing with Dierks."
  • A "flatliner" is medical jargon for a person whose heart has stopped beating. The reference is to the flat line that appears on an electrocardiograph screen that shows there is no activity. The term was popularized by the 1990 film Flatliners, in which medical students experiment to see if there's life after death.

    Other artists that have recorded songs using a flatline as a metaphor for someone or something that stops hearts, include Mutya Keisha Siobhan and Wilkinson.
  • Cole Swindell wrote the song with his producer Michael Carter. "That was when Cole and I were just writing in the back of the bus, a lot of 'good' songs," Carter recalled. "We were out there watching Dierks headline and getting to hang out with him, and then all of a sudden, it's one of those full-circle deals, where one day, we're sitting in the studio... and here comes Dierks bopping in, singing on the album."
  • Speaking to The Boot, Cole Swindell recalled the story of the song and how he ended up recruiting Dierks Bentley to accompany him on it.

    "Before I ever had my record deal, I just had a publishing deal over at Sony ATV. I had that title, 'Flatliner,' and just the idea of a girl stopping everybody's heart - just kind of a fun idea.

    When we started writing it, I had Dierks in mind, kind of like, 'This would be a cool Dierks Bentley song.' We wrote it [and said], 'Let's send this one to Dierks.' I didn't even have a good contact for Dierks at the time, so I don't think he ever even actually heard it, but we had him in mind writing it.

    A couple years later, after I did get my record deal, I sent him a copy of the song … He's like, 'Dude, this is a smash.' So I told him, 'Maybe we can sing it together one day,' kidding. We kind of joked around about that when we'd see each other, for a year. Sure enough, when it came around, we contacted his people, and he was willing to do it."
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