The song is built around honky-tonk singer Webb Pierce's 1953 12-week #1 hit "There Stands the Glass." The sample originated in the 2019 fall when "Hard to Forget" producer Luke Laird heard Pierce's tune on the Apple Music playlist Honky Tonk Essentials. He recalled to Rolling Stone
: "I was like 'Man, what if I made a beat and sample that?'"
Sitting in his car in a Nashville parking lot, Laird recorded a rough 13-second voice memo into his iPhone. It involved him humming the melody of Pierce's chorus as he beatboxed a crude rhythm.
A few days later, during a songwriting session with Hunt and fellow songwriter Ashley Gorley, the singer asked Laird if he had any other beats to show him. Laird pulled out the rough voice memo that contained the "There Stands the Glass" sample, which intrigued Hunt. "He was just freaked out over it. Like, 'Gosh, play it again!'"
The three then merged the sample with a different song that Hunt had been working on with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne titled "Playing Harder to Forget."