Gloriana, ‘Can’t Shake You’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Gloriana‘s ‘Can’t Shake You’ lyrics and melody fit together like a hand and glove. However, that reality was almost not realized. Hit songwriter James T. Slater had the piano melody in his back pocket for nearly a year, but never found the perfect word marriage until he linked up with Gloriana’s Tom Gossin and fellow songwriter Stephanie Bentley.
“I was playing that [piano melody] for like six months to a year,” Slater explains to Taste of Country of putting ‘Can’t Shake You’ together. “I had already written another song. I had tried to write the lyrics myself around that, but I wasn’t happy with it. Then I got a call from Emblem Music — Tom’s record label. They were doing a Gloriana songwriting camp. We met down at Benchmark Studios. I was set up to write with Tom and Stephanie Bentley, who wrote ‘Breathe.’ I hadn’t seen Stephanie in a long time. I didn’t know her that well, but she’s a great girl. So we got set up, and then we went to my house.”
He continues, “For some reason, I thought of that [melody and song], and I said, ‘You know what, man … I don’t think the lyric I have on this thing is right.’ We sat around the grand piano, and we started working on it. I started playing that, and we all just fell into it real well and started writing it. It’s good when you’re writing for Gloriana because they have Rachel singing, too. So you’re always thinking girl-guy, and we obviously had Stephanie with us that day.”
“I still change the station every time they play that song / Can’t drive past your house, so I take the long way home / Your black leather jacket still hanging in my closet / I wish that I could give it away / Oh, even though you’re gone, somehow you stay,” they penned in Gloriana’s ‘Can’t Shake You’ lyrics.
“We got to talking about my ex-girlfriend and how I still have her stuff at my house that she left over two years ago,” Slater reveals. “We all had that thing in common. We were talking about when you break up with somebody, what do you do with the pictures? What do you do with the sweater that she left at your house? What do you do with the black leather jacket? It depends on how you broke up. If it was a bad breakup, you just tear it to pieces or throw darts at it or whatever. With that music, we started writing this ‘can’t shake you.’”
“And every other time when love said goodbye / Just shake it off, shake it off / Pour another drink so I don’t feel a thing / I just shake it off, break it off / Erased all your numbers, blocked all your calls / Tried another love and build up new walls / Told myself it’s over, I don’t know what else I can do / I can’t shake you,” they wrote in the chorus.
“It was really cool because we did it from the guy’s perspective of ‘can’t shake you,’ and then the girl’s,” Slater explains. “It was just magic. Then we went out to dinner at this Mexican joint, then two or three days later, we went to Stephanie’s home and did a demo of it with Stephanie singing and Tom singing. I thought it was really commercial.
Of the song, he adds, “I thought it was going to be killer.”