Babe
by Sugarland (featuring Taylor Swift)

Album: Bigger (2018)
Charted: 72
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • "Babe" comes courtesy of Taylor Swift, who co-wrote the tune with Train's Pat Monahan and also adds background vocals in the song's chorus and bridge.

    "[Taylor] reached out. We [have] obviously known each other for many years. When she was first getting started we had just had our first little EP out, called Premium Quality Tunes," Jennifer Nettles told Billboard. "She still has a copy of it that we signed for her whenever we played a couple of shows together. She was excited we were getting back together and reached out and said, 'Hey, I have a song.' That is a short list, ladies and gentleman, of people to whom she has said, 'Hey, I have a song, you want to sing it?' So we said, 'Yeah!'"

    Kristian Bush added, "We've never really put a song by anyone else on our records so we weren't really used [to] sorting through that and we didn't want to mess it up, so we didn't tell anybody until we got it finished and she liked it. Thank God. Because it is a good song."
  • The acoustic breakup song finds Nettles and Swift chiding a cheating lover for ruining a relationship.

    We said no one else
    How could you do this, babe?
    You really blew this, babe
    We ain't getting through this one, babe
    This is the last time I'll ever call you, babe


    Regarding the subject of the twangy song, Nettles and Bush say they didn't ask Swift who or what inspired the track. "I'm going to close my mouth and let her tell that story - I'm going to let the song tell that story," Nettles told ET's Nancy O'Dell. "She's very confessional in what she does with her songwriting. She lives her life out there through it, and you will see."
  • Asked if the track is about one of Swift's ex-boyfriends, Nettles replied: "[It] just might be! But you didn't hear that here. We don't know. We didn't ask her, but I'm just saying in the context of the story."
  • "Babe" is the only song on the Bigger album that the Sugarland did not write and recording someone else's tune was quite a novelty for the pair. "We've never really put a song by anybody else on any of our records, so we weren't really used to sorting through that, and we didn't want to mess it up," Bush said. "So we didn't tell anybody about it until we got finished. And she liked it, thank God. It is a good song."
  • This marks the second song that Swift has written for a country act since making her transition to pop. Her tune "Better Man" was cut by Little Big Town for 2017's The Breaker.
  • The song's video has a Mad Men vibe and was shot on the Los Angeles set where the television show was filmed. It features Jennifer Nettles' perfect housewife catching her husband (played by Superman Returns actor Brandon Routh) having an affair with flame-haired temptress Taylor Swift.

    It was Swift who came up with the visual's concept; she reached out to the Sugarland duo saying she had an idea for the music clip then wrote the treatment.
  • Swift recorded her own rendition, titled "Babe (Taylor's Version)", for her 2021 re-recorded album Red (Taylor's Version).

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