Wild Child

Album: The Big Revival (2014)
Charted: 56

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Chesney stepping away from the standard bro-country lyrical content that features girls as eye-fodder attired in barely-there clothes. "In the last several years, a lot of the songs about women have been written in kind of an objectifying way," he told Radio.com. "If you didn't wear cut-off jeans or a bikini top, or sit on a tailgate and drink, then you really weren't worthy, you didn't really add up."

    "But 'Wild Child' is telling some girl out there that's got dreams, that's a free spirit," Chesney continued, "who's smart and interesting, that she has a chance, that she is worthy."
  • Chesney recruited Grace Potter to sing with him on this tune. The Nocturnals frontwoman previously collaborated with the country star on "You and Tequila" and "El Cerrito Place."

    Chesney told Taste of Country he is astounded that his voice blends with Grace Potter's so perfectly. "It's weird that they do," the country star said. "She grew up in Vermont and I grew up in east Tennessee, and I never met Grace until we went into the studio to sing 'You and Tequila' together. And we both just kind of looked at each other and went, 'Where have you been all of our lives?'"
  • The song's music video was directed by Chesney's regular visual collaborator, Shaun Silva. The clip follows Chesney's free-spirited friend, songwriter Gretchen Rhodes, enjoying life on her home island of Hawaii. "Shaun really captured everything that makes Robin-and every woman just like her-and I know people get their music in so many different places," Chesney said.

    "It is a song about any woman so hungry to engage life, she spends her days trying to taste it all," he added. "You don't have to be a gypsy to be a free spirit, but just someone so in love with life, you will never get enough. To see a woman like that is a pretty amazing thing."
  • The song was written by Kenny Chesney with Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally during a writing trip to the US Virgin Island of St. John. Osborne recalled to Taste of Country how Chesney proposed the song during the flight. "Kenny mentioned he wanted to write a song called 'Wild Child' that he thought would be this awesome idea of writing a different way about women. More about their spirit, not just how they look," he recalled.

    The trio got the ball rolling on the song during the second morning of their trip. "I had my guitar and started messing with those chord changes, just trying to give it something interesting," Osborne continued. "We were just trying to color up the music a little bit, and Shane kinda fell onto that rhyming pattern of 'Wild child, got a rebel soul with a whole lot of gypsy. Wild style,' changing that second word so much and making 'wild' a big lyrical part of that. So we had kinda worked on that chorus for a half hour, hour or something like that, and had some pieces of it, and then went over."

    "We played him what we had, and he loved it, and just jumped right in with both feet," he added. "He's a really, really good songwriter. He jumped right in and was really coloring up those verses, and the second he started singing the chorus, it just instantly sounded like a Kenny Chesney song. And then we thought, 'This might be something special.'"

    "He recorded the song probably a week later. It was awesome," Osborne concluded. "We got to go into the studio for that and watch his process with Buddy Cannon. It was really a cool moment."

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