Top Songs Written by Lori McKenna

Lori McKenna has been one of the most in-demand writers in Nashville for quite some time now. The songstress has written a lengthy catalog of hits for other artists as well as collections of her own personal writing in The Balladeer, The Bird and The Rifle, The Tree, and more. Here are a few songs that McKenna has written for other artists.


1. “Crowded Table” - The Highwomen

The Highwomen, composed of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Amanda Shires, and Maren Morris, joined forces to build an all-female supergroup. Written by McKenna, Carlile, and Hemby, is a song about the need for inclusivity. There is a number of moving parts stapled in its lyricism such as they crave acceptance.

“I want a house with a crowded table / And a place by the fire for everyone / Let us take on the world while we're young and able / And bring us back together when the day is done.”


2. “Girl Crush” - Little Big Town

“Girl Crush,” written by McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, and Liz Rose, is a guitar-driven ballad. Produced by Jay Joyce, the single found a home on the band’s sixth studio album Pain Killer. The song reached number one on US country radio and was the second most played song of 2015. The song’s lyricism speaks of the obsession from a women towards another women who took away her flame.


This song won McKenna a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year and won the Grammy for Best Country song.


3. “God Made Girls” - Raelynn

After finishing third on NBC’s The Voice, RaeLynn co-wrote her single “God Made Girls” with Nicolle Galyon, Liz Rose, and McKenna. The song encompasses a mid-tempo, twangy groove that caters to the singer + songwriter’s persona.

“So God made girls / God made girls / He stood back and told the boys / I'm bout to rock your world / And God made girls (for singing in your front seat) / God made girls (for dancin' to their own beat) / He stood back and told the boys, ‘I'm bout to rock your world.’ / Then, God made girls.”


4. “Humble and Kind” - Tim McGraw

The McKenna-penned track sat in McGraw’s back pocket for about a year and a half before recording this song right around the time that he dropped his daughter Gracie off at college. He says, “I knew I wanted to record it, but I just couldn’t quite get my head around how I wanted to do it. It was just so beautiful and touching. If anybody’s ever heard Lori just sit and sing with a guitar, she could sing anything to you and sell it to you. It’s so beautiful what she does.” He continues, “We had just dropped Gracie off at college, and I went into the studio and I kept blubbering. I had to leave to go to a volleyball game, and after about five miles, I turned around and cried all the way back to the studio, because I wanted to get it out of my system. It’s such a great message.”

McKenna released her original version on her record The Bird and the Rifle in 2016 in a much more stripped down version


5.“I Bet You Think About Me” - Taylor Swift

“I Bet You Think About Me” was written for Swift’s Red album. Another break-up song in Swift’s catalog, this track contains a cheeky lyricism with an appropriate mix of unconventional country makings and traditional pop makings. Swift recently re-recorded this tune with the help of Aaron Dessner whom she collaborated on Folklore and Evermore with. Chris Stapleton hopped on and lent his vocal talents. McKenna talked about writing this track in our Songwriter Spotlight interview with her. Read it here.


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