Tattoos On This Town

Album: My Kinda Party (2010)
Charted: 38

Songfacts®:

  • This is the fourth single from American Country artist Jason Aldean's fourth studio album, My Kinda Party. It was written by Neil Thrasher and Wendell Mobley ("I Melt") with Michael Dulaney ("Things That Matter").
  • During an interview with CMT, Aldean was asked if he sees himself in the song's narrative. He replied: "A little bit, yeah. When I was in high school, the night before we graduated, we all met up at our school at midnight and spray-painted our names all over the parking lot. So when all the teachers came back the next day, they had something to remember us by. It was pretty cool. It was like big names, you know? That was what I thought about when I heard that song."
  • Aldean told The Boot the song calls to mind his adolescence, when he had few cares or responsibilities. He said: "You're just out having fun, growing up wherever you grew up and doing all these things that helped shape you as an adult" However, you don't realize that your teenage years are going to be some of the best times of your life. "Then you get older," he said. "and look back and remember those times and what it's all about."
  • So, does Aldean sport any tattoos on his own body? Apparently so, as he already had one on his shoulder before adding a second piece of body art to his forearm with the names of his daughters on it to commemorate the release of this single.
  • It was Neil Thrasher who came up with the title phrase, which, he told The Boot, "fell out of the sky." He explained: "I've never had an idea that just appeared like this one did. I was coming in to town to write with these guys, and I'm stopped at some light and there are skid marks on the road in front of me. My mind gets to wandering, and boom, that title is there. I looked up out of my windshield and said, 'Really, seriously? Thank you.'"

    "I went in and we wrote the song," he continued. "We used all those things I thought of, like the skid marks, rope burn on a tree, paint on the bridge, and all that stuff, as examples of how people leave their mark behind. 'Tattoos on This Town' is the coolest title that's ever popped in my mind for sure. I can't take credit for coming up with that title. It came from above."
  • Wes Edwards added his own spin on the title with his music video for the song, which follows the love story of a young marine and his girlfriend, who eventually marry and have a child. The director told Songfacts: "As I was listening, I started thinking what's the ultimate tattoo, what's the ultimate mark that you can leave behind in the world? I just thought once you bring a child to this world, that's the best mark you could leave. So from there it all just kind of fell out. I knew I wanted to end it in a really powerful way with the kid looking at the carving his dad had made in the tree. That was the first thing that popped up, and that's one of the things that the audience really connected to. Once I had that particular visual, then I reverse engineered the story. The whole military aspect, I was not sure how Jason or anyone from his camp was going to take to that, but I just thought, it works for me, so I'm going to write it and see what they think. Luckily, they went for it."

    Edwards also directed clips for many other Aldean songs, including "Hicktown," "Amarillo Sky," "Fly Over States," and "Burnin' It Down."

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