If Guys Can Get Away with It, Can Carrie Underwood?

Before Carrie Underwood heads eastbound next week, to kick off her tour in North Carolina, she is heading “Southbound.”

“Southbound” — a song she penned with David Garcia and Josh Miller — is her brand new single, and one that kind of surprised her when they were in the songwriting session.

Her intention with the title was that it could just be something fun. Until, you know, gender constructs.

“You realize how tricky it is to be a woman and write kind of a drinking/party/boat song. It’s strange,” Underwood said in a radio interview. “You wouldn’t think it would be any different, but for some reason, I feel like a guy could get away with saying this line that we just threw out there, but I can’t for some reason.”

So Underwood came up with a solution. Her name is Katie.

“I used Katie in the song as an example,” she shared. “We wanted to make (Katie) have a little too much fun, but for every line we came out with, it was like, ’Well, we don’t want her to be sad.’ We still had to make Katie have a little respect, but wanted to just get it out there that some people were having too much fun.” That’s the part of the song that has Katie dancin’ on the dock and it’s only two o’clock.

“It surprisingly took us a while to write it but by the end of it, it was like, ‘Well, this is a lot of fun.’ I feel like everybody kind of gravitated towards that one when we were all done with it,” she said.

No matter what your gender is, it’s hard not to hear the fun in a song about pontoons, small towns, spring breaks, river banks, party coves, and redneck margaritas. (One part tequila, one part Mountain Dew.)

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The Cry Pretty Tour 360, which also features Maddie & Tae and Runaway June, launches May 1st in Greensboro, North Carolina

Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.