This is the first song to be released from Australian Country music artist Keith Urban's seventh studio album, Get Closer. The song was co-written by Urban together with Sarah Buxton and Jedd Hughes, who are long-time co-writers. Hughes featured on three tracks from Sarah Buxton's self-titled debut album and they also play together in a duo called Buxton Hughes. Buxton previously co-penned Urban's 2006 Grammy-winning hit, "Stupid Boy."
Urban on the origins of the song: "On my way to write with Jedd and Sarah, I stopped by this music shop and bought a bouzouki (a mandolin-like instrument). I got it out of the case, we got a great groove going on the drum machine, I started playing the opening riff and the song just took off."
Lyrically, the song is about unrequited love. "I've always loved songs about the guy in love with the unattainable girl," explained Urban. "And the idea that the only chance that this poor guy is ever going to have to get close to the object of his affection is to put her in a song, just struck me. That way he'd be able to take her with him everywhere he goes... day and night."
Urban explained the album title: "It's connected to intimacy. To whatever it is that I'm trying to achieve, I've got to 'get closer,' whether that be to love or any of my goals or dreams ... That's what we all need to do. It's a big, open-ended meaning. Ultimately, [the fans] will all find [their] own connection to what this title means."
Urban told The Boot how he likes to get his wife Nicole Kidman's opinion on potential tracks for his albums. Said the singer: "She's very present in the spirit of these songs when I come home with a little tape recording of us playing 'Put You in a Song,' or something, and I have my little cassette player and I crank it in the kitchen like I did that afternoon when I got home. I said, 'I really like this one,' and she was grooving to it and thought it was really good, too. If she's grooving around, that's a really good sign. [laughs]"
Buxton told The Boot that whilst Nicole Kidman was the inspiration behind the song's lyrics, her own relationship with Nashville guitarist Tom Bukovac was also a factor. She said: "'Put You in a Song' was Keith's title, so I'm sure Nicole is in that song. The whole idea behind [that song] is the notion that you may not be with someone every minute, but as soon as you hear it, you think of them. There are still songs to this day that make me cry because it reminds me of a sad time in my life, or makes me want to work out because it gets me going. I think everyone can relate to that."