This song finds Miranda Lambert singing to The Wizard of Oz's mythical Tin Man, a character who really wanted a heart so he could feel emotions. Lambert tries to talk him out of it, assuring him that circulatory organs aren't all they're cracked up to be. "If you ever felt one breaking, you'd never want a heart," she croons.
Lambert's metaphor of The Wizard of Oz
's heart-lacking character is an image of life after heartbreak and it's easy to imagine it was inspired by her divorce from Blake Shelton
Lambert co-wrote the song with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall in the summer of 2015, around the time she announced her divorce from Shelton. It is a tribute of sorts to the singer's favorite Kenny Chesney tune, his 1994 single "The Tin Man."
"I was a little worried at first about writing another song like that, but I told Kenny … I felt the same emotion I feel when I hear that song. I was feeling it myself, and the other two co-writers were feeling it as well," Lambert explained. "It comes from the same place, and I guess that inspired it."
Miranda Lambert performed the song during the 2017 ACM Awards on April 2, 2017 alone on stage, accompanied only by her acoustic guitar. It was a last-minute selection by the country superstar.
"I don't know what a single is anymore. I've not ever been one of those artists that's driven by singles. I'm thankful to have them, and when they're hits, that's awesome, but I don't know if it's a single or not," Lambert said of the tune. "I don't care, really. I have 24 songs that I want to showcase at some point... I just felt like this opportunity is a time for me to show that I'm a true singer-songwriter, and that, you know, I kind of am all over the map, as far as the emotional journey, on this record, and this is just another piece."
Miranda Lambert admitted to ABC Radio
her divorce from Blake Shelton inspired her to re-examine the classic Wizard of Oz
character. "Everyone knows what the Tin Man represents: cold and empty and loneliness and heartless," she said. "And it just opened my eyes to it even more going through pain myself, you know, sort of an epiphany."
A year after Miranda Lambert performed "Tin Man" at the ACM Awards, she won Song of the Year for the very same song at the 2018 ceremony.