Not everybody loved Carrie Underwood’s 2014 Grammy-winning song “Something In The Water.” In fact, Canadian songwriters Ron McNeill and Georgia Lyons say Underwood stole the song from them.
According to The Tennessean, McNeill and Lyons took Underwood to task for the alleged impropriety. They sued writers Underwood, Chris DeStefano, Brett James and producer Mark Bright in federal court. Oh, and they also sued their publishing companies. In other words, they’re looking for the money wherever it comes from.
So just what do they think Underwood and company stole? Pretty much the entire chorus. “The hook on the infringing work, as released on the album, is structurally and lyrically identical,” the suit claims. The melody is also “substantially similar.”
But if you remember the song, that’s less impressive than it sounds. The chorus of “Something In The Water” is pretty plain. In fact, the whole chorus is just, “There must have been something in the water” repeated several times. Given it’s a really common saying, that’s tough to prove.
But McNeill and Lyons also claim they have a connection to Underwood. Apparently, they sent their song of the same name to producer Mark Bright for Underwood to consider recording.
They never heard back, but months later, “Something In The Water” hit the radio as a bonus track on her greatest hits album Greatest Hits: Decade #1. The song hit No. 1 on country radio. It also crossed over into the mainstream Christian market and peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100.
If McNeill and Lyons prove Underwood’s camp stole their song, the windfall would be huge. But artists and songwriters accuse more successful acts of stealing their work all the time. In fact, Underwood and Brad Paisley defeated another claim last year.
Songwriter Amy Bowen claimed the songwriters stole her idea for the song in 2007. She filed a claim in 2013, then Underwood and Paisley defeated it in court in August 2016.