Music

The Story Behind 'Tin Man,' Miranda Lambert's Masterful Heartbreak Song

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Miranda Lambert has many songs that pull on the heartstrings, such as "The House That Built Me" and "Over You," but few describe the wrenching feeling of heartbreak quite like her 2017 tune, "Tin Man." The song was released as a single in April 2017 from her double album, The Weight of These Wings. Written by Lambert, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, the song finds the singer addressing the tin man from The Wizard of Oz, whose mission in the movie is to find a heart. The song acts as a bit of forewarning to the tin man, as Lambert tells him about the downsides of having a heart, such as experiencing the break of one. In the end, Lambert, who is clearly tired from the ravages of love, strikes a deal with the tin man: his armor for her heart.

 

The original recording of the song is fairly stripped down, with Lambert's voice piercing through acoustic interludes. In March of this year, Lambert, Ingram and Randall released an even more raw version of the song, which will appear on their upcoming album, The Marfa Tapesout May 7th. The songs from the album were recorded outdoors in Marfa, Texas, and as one can hear on "Tin Man," they are raw and unfiltered, even featuring chatting from the artists and natural sounds from the environment. The Marfa Tapes version of "Tin Man" was recorded with the three songwriters playing together outside, and according to Lambert, the writing of the Grammy-nominated song happened in a similar way.

The singer shared that the song was written by the three artists on what she calls her "magical front porch" at her home, and it was somewhat inspired by Kenny Chesney's 1994 song, "The Tin Man," from his album, In My Wildest Dreams. ????

"This song sort of wrote itself," she told The Tennessean.???????? "I was a little worried at first about writing another song like that but I told Kenny ... I felt the same emotion I feel when I hear that song. I was feeling it myself and the other two co-writers were feeling it as well. It comes from the same place and I guess it inspired it."

Read More: The Story Behind Miranda Lambert's 'The House That Built Me'

Chesney's "The Tin Man" provided some of the inspiration for the song, but the other half came from what Lambert was feeling in her own life. The double album was the first piece of work the singer released after her 2015 divorce from Blake Shelton, and she has called the project her "diary."

"Whatever influenced you the most at whatever time of your life, it some way or another comes out in your art. The 'Tin Man,' I guess going through a lot of times where I felt pretty empty, I understood a whole new meaning," she told iHeartRadio. "I mean, how many times have we seen The Wizard of Oz? But, something that the world shares is everyone knows what the Tin Man represents; cold, and empty, and loneliness, and heartless. And it just opened my eyes to it even more, going through pain myself. [It was] sort of an epiphany."

Lambert's "Tin Man" peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard country chart and was nominated for two CMA Awards and two Grammy Awards. It also took home the ACM Award for Song of the Year in 2018.

Here are some key song lyrics from Lambert's "Tin Man":

"Hey there, Mr. Tin Man, you don't know how lucky you are / You shouldn't spend your whole life wishin' for something bound to fall apart / Every time you're feeling empty, better thank your lucky stars / If you ever felt one breaking, you'd never want a heart."

Miranda Lambert and Kenny Chesney aren't the only artists to become inspired by the tin man from The Wizard of Oz. America's 1974 song, "Tin Man," is one that is still recognizable to this day. The song was written by Dewey Bunnell, produced by George Martin, and appeared on their album Holiday, also released in 1974. The song hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Adult Contemporary (or Easy Listening) chart and spent four weeks at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song also appears on the band's Greatest Hits History album, which also includes "A Horse With No Name," "Ventura Highway," "Sister Golden Hair," and more hits.

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'Tin Man' Lyrics:

Hey there, Mr. Tin Man
You don't know how lucky you are
You shouldn't spend your whole life wishin'
For something bound to fall apart
Every time you're feeling empty
Better thank your lucky stars
If you ever felt one breaking
You'd never want a heart
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Hey there, Mr. Tin Man
You don't know how lucky you are
I've been on the road that you're on
It didn't get me very far
You ain't missing nothing
'Cause love is so damn hard
Take it from me, darling
You don't want a heart
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Hey there, Mr. Tin Man
I'm glad we talked this out
You can take mine if you want it
It's in pieces now
By the way there, Mr. Tin Man
If you don't mind the scars
You give me your armor
And you can have my heart
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh

 

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The Story Behind 'Tin Man,' Miranda Lambert's Masterful Heartbreak Song