This is how I know that the lawsuit against Carrie Underwood will go nowhere: all the details behind the writing of “Something in the Water” are very well-documented.
Underwood and co-writers Brett James and Chris DeStefano are being sued in federal court for song theft. Canadian songwriters Ron McNeill and Georgia Lyons claim that they’d pitched a very similar song to Underwood’s producer Mark Bright.
But Bright wasn’t even at the songwriting session.
That was on May 2, 2014 at Underwood’s cabin outside of Nashville, and the idea for “Water” came in part from DeStefano and in part from Underwood. “I played Carrie and Brett this music, and Carrie was immediately like, ‘I’ve got this title and concept I’ve been wanting to write,” DeStefano had told me at the time.
“I remember it like it was yesterday, getting chill bumps when she said that title,” he’d said. “It felt so right with the music.”
“By end of that day, we were cranking it up on the speakers and had our hands in the air. We definitely went to church that day. I can’t tell you how many times it brought me to tears. Countless times. Just constantly. It’s such a powerful thing. Each line lifts me up higher and higher,” he said of the song that went on to win the Grammy award for best country solo performance in 2015.
In the lawsuit, McNeill and Lyons allege that the hook on both songs is structurally and lyrically identical.
In a statement to the Tennessean, a spokesperson for Underwood said that she is saddened by the lawsuit. “Neither Carrie nor any of her co-writers ever received or heard the plaintiffs’ song. We fully expect that Carrie, Brett and Chris will be vindicated in the courts,” it says.