Handle On You

Album: yet to be titled (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • When Parker McCollum split from his longtime girlfriend Hallie Ray Light at the end of 2020, it left him reeling. The singer resorted to the bottle to numb the pain, and here he recalls his efforts to squash his heartbreak with alcohol. "I was drinking to try to get out of a bad spot which is never gonna work," McCollum said, "but I don't regret it at all because we wrote 'Handle On You' from literally living exactly what that song's about."

    I drink now that there's nothing to lose
    I been fightin' with your memory
    I hate the way it hits me
    I wake up everyday black and blue
  • After a couple of months of using booze to drown the memory of his broken relationship, McCollum got his act together. The country star realized during his Grand Ole Opry debut in February 2021 that Hallie was his only true love, so they reconciled. The pair got engaged in July 2021 and married on March 28, 2022.
  • McCollum wrote "'Handle On" with Monty Criswell (George Strait's "I Saw God Today," Eric Church's "Hell Of A View") before he got back together with Hallie. "I was really going through it and I was drinking quite a bit and staying up all night trying to write sad country songs," he recalled. "I wasn't really writing anything at the time and woke up real late one day and Monty came over and he had this title called 'Handle On You,' and I said, 'Man, I've kind of been trying to get a handle on her,' and I was really kind of living that at the time."
  • McCollum's 2021 single "To Be Loved By You" is also about the tough patch he had with Hallie. That song finds him trying to figure out why their relationship was so challenging.
  • Parker McCollum and Monty Criswell penned the song on July 1, 2020 at a Midtown condominium in Nashville. Billboard reports Criswell bought the "Handle on You" title inspired by car journeys visiting his daughter at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. En route were billboards advertising bourbon and distilleries, which initially got Criswell thinking about a handle of Jack Daniel's. In time, the "handle of Jack Daniel's" morphed into "handle on you."

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