Punching Bag

Album: Punching Bag (2012)


  • This is the title track of Josh Turner's fifth studio album. Turner told The Boot the title idea came from "one of those days that we all have, where everything just blows up in your face, nothing goes right." The South Carolina native explained that having had, "one of those days," he arrived home and started unloading to his wife about his bad day. He told her, "Sometimes I feel like a punching bag, like life is beating me up." Turner immediately thought, "that could be a huge song title," So he punched it into his phone and saved it.

    Turner had built a log cabin on his College Grove, Tennessee property as a writer's retreat and when he got together with longtime friend and songwriting partner Pat McLaughlin to pen some songs there, he shared the title idea with him. His buddy loved the idea and Turner told The Boot: "We knew it had to have attitude, and I definitely wanted to get some boxing reference in there, because of the title. Overall, I wanted to make sure that the song itself was saying what I felt that particular day when I got the idea, because I felt like it something that everyone could relate to. We all have those days when you feel like you're against the world, every little thing goes wrong and your blood pressure is up. And you feel like punching somebody! [laughs] I wanted to convey that emotion within the song, and I think we definitely got the point across."
  • Turner explained to The Boot why he chose to name the album after this song: "I don't ever land on an album title until I know exactly what's going on the record," he explained, "because you never know until it's all said and done. It was definitely the frontrunner and the most obvious choice and the most poignant choice, too. It seems to be getting people's attention without even having heard the song."
  • 2012 CMA Musician of the year Shannon Forrest plays drums on this song. Turner told American Songwriter magazine that watching the session percussionist play drums on the cut, "was one of the most phenomenal things I've ever watched." He added: "It was superhuman, and I've told everyone about it since that day. He was in full view of me from the vocal booth, and watching him, my brain about popped. I couldn't even comprehend what he was doing. I mean I've seen people play drums before, but he wasn't playing drums; he was tearing the drums up. He was playing different rhythms within what he was doing. Listening to it is one thing, but watching it was just a whole other experience."
  • The lyrics include a couple of references to boxers, which was Turner own idea. He explained to American Songwriter magazine: "I tried to give it some credibility, and give it some legitimacy as far as an actual boxing reference. I was pretty proud of myself when I came up with 'She floated like a butterfly when she stung me like a bee.' Then we also have a George Foreman reference in there too. 'I'm backed into a corner with a Foreman in my face.'"


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