Artist - Hailey Whitters 7
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‘Everything She Ain't’ by Hailey Whitters - Lyrics & Meaning

July 27, 2023 8:52 am GMT
Last Edited December 19, 2023 10:20 pm GMT

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Hailey Whitters - ‘Everything She Ain't’

Label: Pigasus Records / Songs & Daughters / Big Loud

Release Date: January 14th 2022

Album: Raised

Producers: Jake Gear & Hailey Whitters

Songwriters: Bryan Simpson, Hailey Whitters & Ryan Tyndell

Chart Performance:

  • No. 15 on Mediabase
  • No. 19 on Billboard's Country Airplay
  • No. 30 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs
  • No. 94 on Billboard's Hot 100

The Background:

The saying goes that Nashville is a ten-year town. Somewhere after a decade of paying your dues and grinding it out, rumor has it that a lucky break will come your way, and with it, if you're lucky, some country music fame.

Hailey Whitters rolled into town at the age of 17. The year was 2007 and the Shueyville, Iowa native was filled with neon-tinged dreams of singing her own songs on stages across the country. While her artistic career was a little slow to start, she found some success in town as a songwriter, landing cuts with Alan Jackson, Martina McBride and Little Big Town.

Come 2015, she independently released her debut album Black Sheep, which never amounted to anything resembling a lucky break. A few years later, in February of 2020, mere weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, she self-released her sophomore project, The Dream, which quickly caught the eyes and ears of hit songwriter Nicolle Galyon and Big Loud CEO Seth England, who offered her a recording deal.

At the moment where everything should've finally clicked for the burgeoning young songwriter, the world shut down.

During the early months of the pandemic, Whitters delved deep into her songwriting while also issuing Living the Dream, a deluxe edition of her second album. However, in the dark and solemn days of COVID, Whitters was given her silver bullet in the form of a cheeky ray of sunshine called 'Everything She Ain't.'

Born in early 2021, the tune serendipitously found its way onto Whitters third record, Raised, and was sent out in the world at the top of 2022. The reaction from country music fans soon proved that this wasn't just another run-of-the-mill tune or a flash in the pan.

By June, it was being shipped out to country stations as her first ever radio single and, in just over a year, it's become her biggest song to date and marked her first entry onto Billboard's all-genre Hot 100 chart.

The Gold-certified tune has become a career-defining hit for Holler’s favorite “corn star,” and has shot her into the upper ranks of country music's up-and-coming artists.

Though it may have taken the Grammy-nominated songwriter a little longer than ten years to land her breakthrough moment that Music City is notorious for, it’s evident that – partly thanks to 'Everything She Ain't' – Hailey Whitters’ will be enjoying her five minutes of much-deserved fame for years to come.

The Sound:

Back in the beginning of 2021, Whitters had put the finishing touches on what would become Holler's 2022 Album of the Year, Raised.

When she walked into her first in-person writing session since the onset of the pandemic, no one could've known that she and her co-writers – Bryan Simpson and Ryan Tyndell – would walk out of the room with Whitters' breakthrough hit.

The trio were originally working on a moodier song that day, but weren't really getting anywhere with it. After changing gears and throwing out the song's addictive hook – "I'm everything she is and everything she ain't" – they were on a roll. The trio came up with the rest of 'Everything She Ain't' in less than 90 minutes.

Combining its addictive melody, sassy yet humorous lyrics and some '90s country influences, the effervescent tune touches on the jealousy that bubbles up when you see your crush with someone else, taking on a lighter but similar tone to Taylor Swift's beloved hit 'You Belong With Me', all in just two-and-a-half minutes.

Though the final version of the song was produced by Whitters and her now husband Jake Gear, the writing trio quickly set up shop at Nashville's Sound Emporium, cutting a demo of the track in April of 2021.

Tyndell oversaw the process, playing a borderline folksy acoustic guitar and adding in two-clap rhythms after some of the song's key lines, which has since become a central point to the song's charm.

When it came time to cut a more sophisticated version of 'Everything She Ain't,' Gear called in session fiddler Eamon McLoughlin, steel guitarist Russ Pahl and Bryan Sutton on acoustic guitar and banjo, all of whom provided some rootsier instrumentation that's more reflective of Whitters' discography.

Although Raised was mostly completed at this point, as soon as Galyon and England heard the finished product, they were compelled to include 'Everything She Ain't' on the record's final track list.

In its final state, the tune is a breath of fresh air for country radio that tip-toes more on the neo-traditional side of life, while delivering some tongue-in-cheek sass.

The Meaning:

"She ain't a peach you oughta be picking
She ain't the cup of tea you oughta be sipping
She treats you like you're broke, like you need fixing
You ain't getting nothing back for all that you're giving
And if you're good with who you're kissing, c'est la vie
But I can show you what you're missing, yeah boy, I can be"

Our bubbly toe-tapper opens with Whitters explaining that her crush's current love interest is simply not the right girl for him. Likening this other girl to a bad peach and a cup of tea that just doesn't suit his tastes, she paints a picture of how their relationship isn't an equal partnership.

Whitters poses that if he's fine with that, they by all means, he should go on his merry way, but if not... she may know someone who's a better fit.

"The whiskey in your soda, the lime to your Corona
Shotgun in your Tacoma, the Audrey to your Hank
She's got a little style and a Hollywood smile
But believe me, honey, good as money in the bank
I'm everything she is and everything she ain't"

Listing off a couple of tried and true pairings, like whiskey sodas and a Corona with the perfect slice of lime, Whitters spends the chorus celebrating all of what she has to offer to the man in question.

Though this other girl might look like all that and a bag of chips, Whitters has everything she does... and everything she doesn't, too! Clearly that makes her the prize, right?

It's worth mentioning that the namecheck of Audrey and Hank was originally written as "Little Loretta to your Hank", as a reference to the two Country Music Hall of Famers – Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams. However, the writers ultimately changed it to recognize the women who actually inspired some of Williams' classic heartbreak tunes: his wife Audrey.

"She sees diamonds but I'm seeing stars
You should leave her on an island, dance with me in this bar
Honey, there's plenty of fish in the sea
But if you take a second look, you'll see there's only one of me"

Inferring that this other girl only has dollar signs for eyes, or perhaps has some unrealistic expectations, Whitters notes that she's not like that. Rather, she's quite smitten with him. In fact, he should ditch what's her face and just choose her right now.

Even though the old saying is that there's plenty of fish in the sea and plenty of chances to find love, Whitters warns that she's one of a kind so he better cast his line quick.

"The whiskey in your soda, the lime to your Corona
Shotgun in your Tacoma, the Audrey to your Hank
She's got a little style and a Hollywood smile
But believe me, honey, good as money in the bank
I'm everything she is and everything she ain't"

What has Hailey Whitters said about ‘Everything She Ain't’?

As 'Everything She Ain't' continues to rise at country radio, Whitters has been polishing up the next chapter of her discography, I'm In Love. The highly-anticipated EP arrives on July 28 with 'Everything She Ain't' serving as the six-song project's anchor.

While a new project traditionally means the start of a new era, Whitters explains to Holler that her first single at country radio has spiraled a life all its own, and it's one that she won't be departing from anytime soon.

"‘Everything She Ain’t' was the last song I wrote and recorded during the writing process for Raised. It's been such a pleasant surprise seeing the life that song has lived and opportunities it has created and new fans it's introduced my music to” Whitters shares with Holler. “That song unlocked a door in my creative process and it's been so fun and fulfilling both in the writing room and studio to continue to find ways to cast new light on the traditions of country music that's been so foundational to my sound”.

She adds, “All I've ever wanted to do was make authentic country music, and this next EP and forthcoming full length leans heavily on those influences while looking forward and hoping to bring that sound to the forefront of the format in the years to come”.

Though much of Whitters discography thus far deals with darker and more through-provoking topics, she explained to Billboard that when she wrote the song in 2021, there was already enough of that going around.

"The world is heavy, and it was heavy when we were writing this and it’s gonna continue to be heavy” Whitters noted. “I’m not trying to change anyone’s life. I’m just trying to make someone’s day. I feel like this song does that in two minutes and 30 seconds”.

Here at Holler, we couldn't agree more.

For the full lyrics to Hailey Whitters' ‘Everything She Ain't,’ see below:

"She ain't a peach you oughta be picking
She ain't the cup of tea you oughta be sipping
She treats you like you're broke, like you need fixing
You ain't getting nothing back for all that you're giving
And if you're good with who you're kissing, c'est la vie
But I can show you what you're missing, yeah boy, I can be

The whiskey in your soda, the lime to your Corona
Shotgun in your Tacoma, the Audrey to your Hank
She's got a little style and a Hollywood smile
But believe me, honey, good as money in the bank
I'm everything she is and everything she ain't

She sees diamonds but I'm seeing stars
You should leave her on an island, dance with me in this bar
Honey, there's plenty of fish in the sea
But if you take a second look, you'll see there's only one of me

The whiskey in your soda, the lime to your Corona
Shotgun in your Tacoma, the Audrey to your Hank
She's got a little style and a Hollywood smile
But believe me, honey, good as money in the bank
I'm everything she is and everything she ain't

She's all wrong for you
Just the girl-next-door you know is right as rain

The whiskey in your soda, the lime to your Corona
Shotgun in your Tacoma, the Audrey to your Hank
She's got a little style and a Hollywood smile
But believe me, honey, good as money in the bank
I'm everything she is and everything she ain't

Yeah, I'm everything she is and everything she ain't"

For more on Hailey Whitters, see below:

Written by Lydia Farthing
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