What if someone heard Elton John"s "Tiny Dancer," misheard the lyrics and wrote a hit song called "Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza?"

That"s basically what happened with Little large Town"s "Pontoon." Co-writers Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird and Barry Dean called the story behind the 2012 nation hit to Bart Herbison that Nashville Songwriters combination International.

You are watching: What does motorboating mean in the song pontoon


I obtain up this morning, and also Little huge Town is on "Good Morning America." Of food they"re doing that song. The song simply keeps materializing; i hear that everywhere. It"s currently in part commercials, right?

Natalie Hemby: ns don"t know, but I hear the on the lake all the time, so that"s a great sign.

This entirety thing starts v the publisher confuse something the they believed you guys had actually written. Luke?

Luke Laird: Natalie and also I had written a song that Miranda (Lambert) recorded called "Fine Tune." It to be on she last album, and also it"s still one of my favourite songs the two of us have actually written. Somebody had actually overheard "Fine Tune" play in an office at the publishing firm or something, and also another human came and asked Natalie, "What to be that track of yours? "Pontoon" or something?"

NH: it was type of like that. That wasn"t me. The was somebody else the they stated it to. They dubbed me and (said), "They believed that you were saying "Pontoon." " so I referred to as Luke and also said, "We must write this really obnoxious song referred to as "Pontoon," to it is in funny.

LL: Of course Barry and I to be like, "Yeah."

Barry Dean: for Natalie that probably is lyrically no the many meaty song, yet she take away a distinct angle ~ above the lyric, and we shaped it the way. And also Luke had that groove, and also the production of the record (by) Jay Joyce. It"s hipper 보다 you think it would certainly be. It"s sort of developed like one old nation song, and also then produced like other a small fresher.

LL: it literally is one of those songs that us never might have imagined. It started in the room. We all reaction to it, and also I feel favor as a writer, you have to trust that.

Now, there"s a story ~ the song. Friend (Natalie) visited buy a pontoon. This is priceless to me.

NH: five yeah. Well, if you"re walking to write a song around a pontoon, someone needs to buy one. Mine husband loves boats, so us took the plunge. These 2 still haven"t bought one, and now we"re most likely going to end up offering ours. We visited go purchase a boat, and also it"s a nice brand-new boat a guy was selling. He had to sell it since his wife was pregnant and they just moved here. We took a journey on the boat, and we love it. We had actually my in-laws on there, and just as we were about to leaving ... We came ago to the dock, and also I have to leave due to the fact that my daughter is gaining a little fussy. She sings, "Motorboatin" " as we"re gaining off the boat, and also the man was like, "Oh mine God, that song is so awful." (laughs) ... No everybody likes her song, and that"s OK.

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— Compiled through Dave Paulson, dnpaulson

About the series

In partnership with Nashville Songwriters association International, every week we will certainly release a video clip interview with a songwriter around his or she work. Check out the complete interview with Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird and Barry Dean at www.stclairdrake.net/music in addition to past installments.