Morgan Wallen - Thought You Should Know Single Cover
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‘Thought You Should Know’ by Morgan Wallen - Lyrics & Meaning

August 17, 2023 4:12 pm GMT

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Morgan Wallen - ‘Thought You Should Know’

Label: Big Loud / Mercury / Republic

Release Date: May 6th 2022

Album: One Thing At A Time

Producer: Joey Moi

Songwriters: Morgan Wallen, Nicolle Galyon & Miranda Lambert

Chart Performance:

  • No. 1 on Billboard Country Airplay
  • No. 1 on Billboard Hot Country Songs
  • No. 1 on Mediabase Country chart
  • No. 7 on Billboard Hot 100

Certifications:

The Background:

Prior to the release of his record-setting 2023 opus, One Thing At A Time, Morgan Wallen had become largely synonymous with bar-crawling, alcohol-soaked Friday night anthems such as ‘Whiskey Glasses’, ‘Up Down’ and ‘Wasted On You’.

The first two singles that were shared from the One Thing At A Time era - ‘Don't Think Jesus’ and ‘Thought You Should Know’ - paved the way for a project that would showcase a more mature and emotionally perceptive side to Morgan than we'd seen previously.

‘Don't Think Jesus’ is a deeply introspective, faith-filled musing on past mistakes and forgiveness, while ‘Thought You Should Know’ serves as a sweet, heartwarming ode to Morgan's mother, Lesli Wallen.

The stripped-back ballad was first teased in May 2021, when Morgan Wallen shared a clip of him performing the heartfelt track, which was written alongside Nicolle Galyon and Miranda Lambert.

Much like the snippets of ‘7 Summers’ and ‘More Than My Hometown’ that Morgan teased in the lead-up to Dangerous, his acoustic rendition of ‘Thought You Should Know’ quickly went viral, with fans calling for the song to be given an official release as soon as possible.

Ultimately, though, they had to wait another year before the Sneedville singer-songwriter released the studio version of ’Thought You Should Know’ on May 6 2022, with the song then being officially shipped to Country Radio on November 7.

It became Morgan Wallen's eighth Country Radio No. 1 in February 2023, a month before One Thing At A Time was released. Morgan didn't dwell on the success of ‘Thought You Should Know’ for too long, however, with his ground-breaking streaming behemoth, ‘Last Night’, earning him his ninth Country Radio No. 1 less than three months later.

‘Thought You Should Know’ remains a fan-favourite and an immovable staple in Morgan Wallen's setlist, with the ‘Everything I Love’ songsmith continuing to perform the hit single throughout his 2023 One Night At A Time world tour. Miranda Lambert even serenaded fans with ‘Thought You Should Know’ at Gulf Coast Jam 2023, after Morgan was forced to withdraw from the festival due to a vocal chord injury.

The Sound:

‘Thought You Should Know’ opens with a distinctive, longing slide guitar, which meanders softly throughout the track, adding a sense of lightness to Morgan's earnest vocals.

An acoustic guitar soon joins the slide as Morgan begins his mock phone-call to his mother, with the accompaniment kept relatively sparse during the opening verse.

Morgan often showcases the fiery, rough-around-the-edges quality of his much-loved drawl to great effect, but on ‘Thought You Should Know’, he aptly adopts a gentler delivery as he apologises to his mother for having spent so much time away from home.

Then, as the chorus hits, the instrumental swells to a climax as Morgan Wallen dials up the intensity of his vocal, accentuating the devotion he conveys throughout the hook's lyrics.

Although framed as a phone-call, as the artwork suggests, ‘Thought You Should Know’ could easily be interpreted as a letter penned to his mother, and the conversational tone and lyrical structure is mirrored by the easy, cyclical feel of the sonics.

The hook is undoubtedly the centrepiece, but each verse, bridge and chorus flows naturally into one another without any dramatic changes of pace, which perhaps meant ‘Thought You Should Know’ was not an obvious No. 1 candidate.

However, the infusion of evocative storytelling, cushioned instrumentation and Morgan Wallen's charismatic, sincere delivery has ensured ‘Thought You Should Know’ now holds a spot in the country megastar's formidable pantheon of trailblazing, goalpost-shifting hits.

The Meaning:

“What's goin' on, mama?
Something just dawned on me
I ain't been home in some months
Been chasin' songs and women
Makin' some bad decisions
God knows I'm drinkin' too much
Yeah, I know you've been worrying 'bout me
You've been losin' sleep since '93”

The casual, informal nature of the song is set out from the first line, with the opening verse being intentionally crafted as if a real conversation between Morgan Wallen and his mother, Lesli.

The first verse finds Morgan resuming the apologetic voice of ‘Don't Think Jesus’ and other One Thing At A Time stand-outs, such as ‘Dying Man’ and ‘Born With A Beer In My Hand’.

By confiding in his mother about his self-destructive habits, it gives the song a confessional feel and adds to its intimacy, where we get the sense we are eavesdropping on a private conversation.

Also, in the first verse, there's an easter egg for avid Morgan Wallen fans, as he makes a subtle reference to one of his break-out hits, ‘Chasin’ You’ (“Been chasin' songs and women”).

As this appeared on his debut 2018 album, If I Know Me, this is perhaps used as a symbol of Morgan's previous party-loving, whiskey-shotting persona, who he rebukes on ‘Thought You Should Know’.

“I thought you should know
That all those prayers you thought you wasted on me
Must've finally made their way on through
I thought you should know
I got me a new girl down there in Jefferson City, and
She lets me fish whenever I want to
Yeah, I'm still proud of where I came from
Still your only damn son
Can you believe I'm on the radio?
Just thought you should know, thought you should know, thought you should know”

Throughout the hook Morgan expresses his gratitude to his mother for always having faith in him and praying for his wellbeing. He then outlines how brilliantly things are going for him, with the underlying implication being that he has his mother to thank for these blessings.

The lyric that becomes all the more endearing as Morgan Wallen continues to establish himself as the biggest artist in country music - and one of the most popular across all genres - is his wide-eyed, bemused remark to his mother, “Can you believe I'm on the radio?”

When interview by ET ahead of the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, Lesli Wallen revealed that she “cried” and felt “humbled that he would do that for me” when she first heard ‘Thought You Should Know’.

The second time she heard, it, however, she cut straight to the chase, asking Morgan, “Who's the girl from Jefferson City?” Morgan followed this up by confirming they weren't dating anymore.

“Oh, by the way, mama, didn't mean to ramble on ya
How's everything back at home?
Yeah, how's that garden comin'?
Is dad still doing dumb shit?
And how'd he keep you this long?
Yeah, I'm sorry that I called you so late
I just miss you, but anyways”

The conversational tone of ‘Thought You Should Know’ continues through to the second verse, with Morgan idly questioning his mother about her beloved garden, before playfully poking fun at his father (“Is dad still doing dumb shit? / And how'd he keep you this long?”).

The specificity of these remarks adds another layer of personality and warmth to the song, making it feel as though this could be a chat any of us might have with our parents.

“I thought you should know
That I really like this girl down in Jefferson City, and
Turns out she's a lot like you
Yeah, I'm still proud of where I came from
Still your only damn son
The bus is leavin' so I gotta roll
Just thought you should know, thought you should know, thought you should know”

Although they're no longer together in reality, Morgan adds a fun twist into the final chorus, with Morgan underlining how much he cares for his flame in Jefferson City, even giving his girlfriend the highest praise of likening her to his mother.

Again, reinforcing the authenticity of the song is the fact that Morgan concludes the metaphorical phone-call by warning his mother that his bus is about to head off for his next tour-stop.

In addition, this sense of urgency and business exacerbates his pining to return to the quiet, rural simplicity of his Tennessee home, so that he'll get to spend some more time with his mother and father.

What has Morgan Wallen said about ‘Thought You Should Know’?

During his 2022 red carpet interview with ET alongside his mother, Morgan Wallen was teasingly asked whether she's getting a little more sleep nowadays, in a direct reference to the ‘Thought You Should Know’ lyrics, to which he responded, ““Seems like it, yeah!”

In the same discussion, Morgan spoke about the growth that he mentions on the song, “I think mostly I could attribute it to being a dad...Just seeing that I have another life that I'm responsible for, it kind of put things into perspective for me”.

Ahead of the release of One Thing At A Time, Morgan Wallen emphasised the importance of having a song about his mother on the new record, as well as the joy of getting to include her in the music video, “‘Thought You Should Know’ is...my song to my mom. I had an idea of writing her this song for a while, I ended up writing it and it ended up being a hit...I got to have her in the video, and really make her a huge part of the song, not just lyrically but visually as well. My mom's a big hit back home because of it, and it's always going to be special for me and her”.

He also underlined his respect for his ‘Thought You Should Know’ co-writer, Miranda Lambert, “Everybody knows how bad-ass [Miranda] is. That's not just a front, she is an incredibly talent musician and an incredibly talented writer as well. I actually wasn't even supposed to write with her that day...it was just going to be me and Nicolle Galyon. I wanted to write with a woman for this specific song just because it was for my mom, and I wanted a woman's perspective, a mother's perspective in particular, and Nicole called me and was like, “Hey, do you care if Miranda comes and writes?” and I was like, “No! Go ahead”. So she did and we wrote that song”.

Morgan Wallen then expanded on the creative process behind the chart-topping single, “I already had the verse and chorus of that song...they helped me switch a couple of things that they thought could be better and then we wrote the second verse and finished the song out, so that happened pretty fast”.

Tantalisingly, he also hinted there could be more to come from the songwriting trio, “And then we wrote three or four more songs the rest of the day, and just hung out and had a good time. We haven't written since, but we've talked about it and I'm sure we will at some point...I'm a huge fan of Miranda, I was before I even moved to this town, so it's cool for me to get to do things like that”.

For the full lyrics to Morgan Wallen's ‘Thought You Should Know’ see below:

“What's goin' on, mama?
Something just dawned on me
I ain't been home in some months
Been chasin' songs and women
Makin' some bad decisions
God knows I'm drinkin' too much
Yeah, I know you've been worrying 'bout me
You've been losin' sleep since '93

I thought you should know
That all those prayers you thought you wasted on me
Must've finally made their way on through
I thought you should know
I got me a new girl down there in Jefferson City, and
She lets me fish whenever I want to
Yeah, I'm still proud of where I came from
Still your only damn son
Can you believe I'm on the radio?
Just thought you should know, thought you should know, thought you should know

Oh, by the way, mama, didn't mean to ramble on ya
How's everything back at home?
Yeah, how's that garden comin'?
Is dad still doing dumb shit?
And how'd he keep you this long?
Yeah, I'm sorry that I called you so late
I just miss you, but anyways

I thought you should know
That all those prayers you thought you wasted on me
Must've finally made their way on through
I thought you should know
I got me a new girl down there in Jefferson City, and
She lets me fish whenever I want to
Yeah, I'm still proud of where I came from
Still your only damn son
Can you believe I'm on the radio?
Just thought you should know, thought you should know, thought you should know

Yeah, I know you've been worrying 'bout me
You've been losing sleep since '93
I thought you should know
That all those prayers you thought you wasted on me
Must've finally made their way on through

I thought you should know
That I really like this girl down in Jefferson City, and
Turns out she's a lot like you
Yeah, I'm still proud of where I came from
Still your only damn son
The bus is leavin' so I gotta roll
Just thought you should know, thought you should know, thought you should know
I thought you should know, thought you should know
I thought you should know, thought you should know, thought you should know”

For more on Morgan Wallen, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
Author - Morgan Wallen
Morgan Wallen
Artist