Suds in the Bucket

Album: Restless (2004)
Charted: 33

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, a teenage girl causes quite a stir in her hometown when she suddenly elopes with her boyfriend. It happened so suddenly, she left the suds in the bucket from where she was doing laundry. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lily - Argyle, TX
  • This was written by the Country songwriters Billy Montana and Tammy Wagoner, who is better known as "Jenai." Montana also wrote "More Than a Memory" for Garth Brooks.
  • This song was originally written in response to a pitch sheet for an up-tempo song for Lee Ann Womack. So co-writers Billy Montana and Jenai went into the studio to put together a quick cute song that would coax smiles to come into the light. Billy says, "There's certain times when you get finished with a song, and you go, 'Mission accomplished.' Sometimes a song kind of leads you. So Jenai and I wanted to write something fun, something kind of light-hearted. And this was a rare instance where we had a lot of the music in advance of the lyric. I'm a guy that likes to start with a hook and then figure out what the idea is. But in this particular case we actually had a lot of the music, and we were just kind of 'da-da-da-da-da-da,' singing like that. And we had a concept where we wanted a young girl leaving home. And I said, 'Well, what about she left the suds in the bucket, the clothes hanging out on the line?' And Jenai's mouth dropped open, and she said, 'I love that.' Because it just seemed like a unique way to say she left in a hurry."
  • The sort of off-kilter language in this song was inspired by Bob Dylan, who had a penchant for making pretzels out of words if necessary to suit the line. "The thing that I think I love the most about that song is the language. We say, 'little pony-tail girl growed up to be a woman.' Bob Dylan put in a song, I think it's a line that goes, 'something I never knowed.' Because he was rhyming it with 'road.' And so I was like, well, man, it can be done. And check this out, this was kind of funny, because my daughter pointed out to us one time, we were listening to a Neil Diamond song, and it's the one about 'song she brang to me,' he says 'B-R-A-N-G, brang,' to rhyme with sang, and rang. And so my daughter was like, 'That's not a word, 'brang.'' And I'm like, Oh my gosh, I never noticed that. So Jenai and I, we were writing, we're like, man, that's cool. But I think we get into the father's head when he's staring out the window scratching and a-wracking his brain. I mean, it's just the language, I was really pleased when we were finished with it, because I felt like we actually got inside the heads of the characters in the song." (Read more in our interview with Billy Montana.)

Comments: 2

  • Staley from Dallas, TxI love this song, and I always thought of it as an unofficial sequel to "Born to Fly." Seeing that it was written in response to a "pitch sheet" for Sara Evans strengthens that idea. Now she needs another song continuing the story. Taylor Swift's "Mine" could kind of fit the bill, except the father in "Suds" doesn't sound like the one described in "Mine."
  • Chet from Buffalo, NyOn Billboard in U.S., to #1 Country, #33 POP
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