The song's genesis was a title, "If I Could Kill One Word," that Luke Dick came up with. He was unsure what to do with it, but once he switched "one" to "a" the title became something that he could wrap his head around.
Dick was able to expand on his idea. He recalled to The Tennessean
that he convened one day with Jeff Hyde for one of their fortnightly songwriting sessions. He played Hyde what he had on his 12-string guitar, which was the first verse with the refrain, "If I could only kill a word." His songwriting partner responded: "That's that's pretty unique... dang, that's really outside the box."