Kristian Bush originally had the idea for this song during a cross-country flight as he read about a school shooting in the northeast. Moved by the tragic event, he came up with some lyrics about the wave of deadly school shootings across the nation. However he had some doubts that it was a suitable subject matter for Sugarland. His bandmate, Jennifer Nettles disagreed and they came up together with a socially aware song with a slow, acoustic backdrop that talks about the hurt behind the problem rather than getting preachy.
But what if we try to reach her with words What if we looked in her eyes and asked "where does it hurt?" Would she find all she was worth? Monday was hoping But Tuesday's broken
"I loved taking the onus off of the action," Bush told Taste of Country "and giving it to the emotion of the person. My children cry listening to that song because nobody asks them the question, the right question. It's not empathy. It's asking the right question."
It was Nettles who brought the question, "Where does it hurt?" to the song after reading about black social activist Ruby Sales who was threatened by a shotgun-wielding special county deputy after she'd been involved in picketing a whites-only store in Alabama. One of Sales' fellow pickets, Jonathan Daniels, a white seminarian, pushed her out of the way and took the bullet meant for her, dying instantly. Nettles learned of Sales' story through a Twitter account called Brain Pickings.
"It was just a beautiful moment to (take) all of these different horrible headlines (and) to address the human heart of that, the human spirit of that," Nettles said. "To say what is the heart politic of this, not what is the government politic of this."