Hearts I Leave Behind

Album: A Whole Lot More to Me (2016)
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Songfacts®:

  • This poignant tune was written by Nick Sturms and Travis Meadows. It was originally recorded by former Navy Seal Pete Scobell in memory of American Sniper subject Chris Kyle. "I saw a YouTube version. It was toned down and we really picked it up because I felt like it's a positive message in this song, not a negative, and it's not a dark subject," Morgan told Rolling Stone. "For me, it's kind of like reading the Bible - you shouldn't feel despair. You should feel excitement and that's what this message is in this song for me."
  • Though Morgan was instantly drawn to the tune, it almost didn't make it onto the A Whole Lot More to Me album. "We heard it in the very beginning of the song selection process," he recalled to The Boot. "It kind of hung in there, and then it would drop off, and then we would go back and do another listening session, and go, 'Man, we really should have this song back in.' We'd put it back in," he recalled. "It went back and forth, off and on, for the whole year."

    Morgan eventually decided to record the song as he already had the studio booked to cut "Living on Memories."
  • Morgan's gritty voice is accompanied here by the soulful tones of Third Day singer Mac Powell. "We got to talking about it, and Powell's name came up. I said, 'I love that guy's vocal,'" he recounted. "I went back and listened to Mac, and he had cut a country record. It blew me away, but I was scared to death, because I didn't know, on the record, what it would sound like, going from my record to his record, that transition, whether it would be too harsh."

    "It wasn't until we got into the studio and I started cutting his vocals on the record that it floored me, emotionally," Morgan added. "This is a huge, huge song now. I feel like his participation elevated that song to a whole new level."

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