Co-written by Miranda Lambert with Luke Dick and Natalie Hemby, this song finds Miranda Lambert taking a positive attitude toward life's tough times.
If the house just keeps on winnin'
I've got a wildcard up my sleeve
The concept of resilience when things are going bad is a common theme throughout the Wildcard record. The album title comes from this song.
Lambert takes the proverbial phrase, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," and puts her own spin on it by upping the alcohol content.If love keeps givin' me lemons
I'll just mix 'em in my drink
"That was a definite Miranda line because that's what I do," she told Entertainment Weekly
with a chuckle. "You can't stay in the moment that's not good for you. If you keep missing, you have to just keep trying."
Lambert's group The Pistol Annies previously incorporated a similar lemon metaphor during their 2011 song "Lemon Drop
."My life is like a lemon drop
I'm suckin' on the bitter to get to the sweet part
I know there are better days ahead
One of the inspirations for the soft rambler was the Charles Bukowski poem Bluebird, a favorite of Luke Dick. The 1992 work starts:
There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out
But I'm too tough for him
Lambert said: "We kind of went off of that. And this song, something about it makes me feel hopeful. It's not too cheery. It's got this undertow of like "S--t's gonna happen, but it's gonna be okay."
During an industry-only preview show of Wildcard, Lambert recalled that the song's starting point was a text from Luke Dick. It talked about keeping a bluebird in your heart and Dick added, "I wanna write that with you, because I feel like that's what you did. And it's what I feel like we all do."
When Lambert, Dick and Natalie Hemby got together to pen his idea, it felt special, as "something about a bluebird is hopeful, even through blue times."
Luke Dick already had the song's first line when Lambert and Hemby arrived at his studio for their songwriting session.I'm a turner
I turn pages all the time
Dick told Billboard
he wanted to come up with a statement song about himself and the other two. "There's these characteristics of yourself, and then how you deal with adversity, but in an impressionistic way instead of in a literal way," he explained. "That was the only guideline that I had imagined."
Miranda Lambert had a secret she couldn't wait to share when she turned up for the "Bluebird" songwriting session. "She poured a glass of wine and held up her hand," Hemby said in the Billboard piece. "She goes, 'I got married three days ago.' And Luke and I started laughing; like, we just couldn't believe it."
Miranda Lambert dropped a bomb when she announced on social media on February 16, 2019 that she'd got married to NYPD officer Brendan Mcloughlin.
The song is a meditation on hope and tenacity. "I love 'Bluebird.' It's a song like I've never written before and I'm so proud to be a part of it," Lambert said in a press release. "The bluebirds had always been there - I live on a farm - but I never saw them like I see them now. It reminds me to open my eyes to what's around me."
"Now, seeing a bluebird sitting on a branch means so much more to me. I see a little piece of hope there, sitting with wings, and it's a reminder," she continued. "I think this is one of those songs where every person takes what they need from it."
We see Miranda Lambert dressed as the titular bluebird in the song's music video, singing cooped up inside a giant birdcage. From her perch inside the cage, the feathered chanteuse performs the song to a nightclub audience, who eye her straight-faced from their seats. At the end of the Trey Fanjoy-directed clip, a now-free Lambert strolls slowly away.
This won Video of the Year at the 2020 ACM Awards. It was Lambert's second win for the category following "The House That Built Me
." Trey Fanjoy directed both clips.
Lambert sang this at the Grammy Awards in 2021, where it was up for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance. It didn't win either, but Wildcard won for Best Country Album.