Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne Discuss Writing Keith Urban’s New Song, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”

Keith Urban recently released his newest single, “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” a pop-leaning summer jam with airy and light production similar to “Little Bit of Everything.” Written by Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and Ross Copperman, the song is a bit of an all-American summer anthem, with lines like “I’m a child of a backseat freedom, baptized by rock and roll, Marilyn Monroe and the Garden of Eden, never grow up and never grow old.” It’s clever without being overly complex, hitting that sweet spot of depth and relatability. “I learned everything I needed to know from John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” Urban sings on the hook.

“This song just sort of fell out in a really unusual way….the hook/title sounds like something we would have started with, but we were actually stumped as to what the hook line would be,” McAnally tells us. “We stumbled upon the title when we were writing the second verse, and realized that those 3 Johns covered almost every aspect of what we were trying to say. This song is a great example of just sticking with something and showing up and writing what you know….which is what we did.”

“From the second we heard the music Ross was working on we knew this could be something special,” Osborne says. “The music already had a feel and an emotion in it, so the challenge then was to make the lyric add to that. We just wrote about our lives and things we knew and eventually stumbled on to our hook line that somehow made it all make sense. This song was definitely a gift.”

“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” goes for adds at radio today.