This song was written by Audra Mae and recorded by the Oklahoma singer-songwriter
for her 2012 Audra Mae And The Almighty Sound
album. Miranda Lambert covered the tune for her 2014 Automatic
LP, releasing it as the third single from the set on January 12, 2015.
It was rock singer John Eddie, who has opened for Lambert a few times, that first pointed the country star towards the song. Lambert recalled in the Platinum cut by cut: "He called my tour manager three or four years ago and said, 'Hey, tell Miranda about this girl Audra Mae, specifically her song 'Little Red Wagon.' I think she could rock it.'"
"When I heard it, I thought, 'Oh god. This girl is ridiculous,' "So I stalked her down. We're the same age, and she's from Oklahoma. I asked her point blank: 'What's your plan for 'Little Red Wagon'? Can I cut it? Can I even try to be a hair on the a– of how you did it?'"
Audra Mae told ET Online how Miranda Lambert came to record this tune. "Apparently somebody she was on the road with had heard my record and suggested the song to her," she recalled. "They started listening to it, and she really liked it. She is one of the most grounded, humble people you'll ever meet, also a Texas girl."
"She was apparently nervous about contacting me, so her husband [Blake Shelton] cornered my publisher at a country awards show in Vegas and said, 'Can you please get me her number because my wife has listened to this record all the time, and she's too shy to do anything about it,'" Mae added. "She hit me up and invited me to a party they were having for the finale of The Voice, and so that was the first time I met her."
A few months later Lambert graciously asked if she could play her version of the song for Mae. "I thought it was so funny because that's not common at all," Mae said. "It's really not necessary, especially if you're a huge artist - you can do whatever you want! But she's old-school cool."
Lambert performed this song at the Grammy Awards in 2015, where Platinum won for Best Country Album.
Asked by Glamour magazine about the meaning of the titular red wagon, Lambert replied: "I think it's just about a state of mind. You know, [like], 'I've got this on my own. I've got swagger.' I think it's just sassy, and it's up for whatever interpretation you have as a person."
The song features the line, "I live in Oklahoma," the state where Lambert used to reside with Blake Shelton when they were married between 2011 and 2015. However, the singer shaded her ex-husband by updating the lyrics to, "I got the hell out of Oklahoma," during her performance on April 7, 2019 at the ACM Awards. Shelton and his girlfriend Gwen Stefani were present at the time but the camera didn't pick up on their reaction.