Behind the Song: Luke Combs’ ‘When It Rains It Pours’

Luke Combs was going through a break up when he and his co-writers first began writing the No.1 hit, "When It Rains It Pours."

Behind the Song: Luke Combs’ ‘When It Rains It Pours’
Luke Combs; Photo by CK Photo

Luke Combs and Jordan Walker of Walker McGuire first met over beers at a bar in Nashville three years ago. The two budding artists were introduced by a mutual friend, songwriter Ray Fulcher, and shortly after their initial meeting they went on to write what would become Combs’ second No. 1 hit, “When It Rains It Pours.”

“We start talking, we’re having a couple beers and Luke goes, ‘Well I like your music, the Walker McGuire music that I’ve heard,'” Walker told Sounds Like Nashville earlier this year during a visit to St. Jude Children’s Hospital for the annual Country Cares seminar. “He was like, ‘I’d love to write with you one day if we could.’ So we left the bar right then and went to my house, pulled out a couple guitars and a six pack and started writing.”

As Walker explains, the three songwriters were hard at work on the song but Combs seemed distracted. Having recently gone through a breakup, Combs was busy texting back and forth with his ex as they began penning the song.

“The idea kind of fell out, but the whole time we were writing the first verse, he was texting his ex-girlfriend and I just kept going, ‘Dude should we just not write and just got back to the bar?’ I know how this goes, and he’s like, ‘No, we’re going to write a song,’” Walker recalls. “Then it hit me. I was like, ‘We should write a song about her,’ and he was like, ‘No, no, no that’ll make her so mad.'”

A few minutes later, Combs changed his mind.

“And then it clicked, he was like, ‘Wow, dude, we should write a song just to make her mad,'” he remembers with a laugh.

At a No. 1 party in Nashville for “When It Rains It Pours,” Combs explains initially having the idea for the song but thinking it was too sad and depressing of a tale to continue writing. So, instead of simply throwing the song away they decided to channel some humor.

“We wanted to have fun writing it, and it felt like a cool thing to do” Combs shares. “We all loved that ’90s country, like Brad Paisley tongue-in-cheek stuff, and so that’s where we went with it.”

True life often comes across in music and Combs admits that there may have been some subconscious thoughts going on about his former relationship that made their way into “When It Rains It Pours.”

“We all talked about how we’ve been in a situation where it’s like you’re waiting to get out of [a relationship] but you didn’t realize you wanted to get out,” he adds. “Then you did and you’re like ‘Man, what a relief! What a great thing.’ So, I think we played on that well and turned it into a fun thing.”

The lyrics paint the picture of a man following a breakup. Instead of lamenting in his beer over the end of his relationship, he finds a stroke of good luck.

“Then I won a hundred bucks on a scratch-off ticket / I bought two 12-packs and a tank of gas with it / She swore they were a waste of time / Oh, but she was wrong / I was caller number five on a radio station / Won a four day, three night beach vacation / Deep sea señorita fishing down in Panama,” he sings.

“I don’t think breakups have to be horrible all the time, at least not for both people,” Combs adds. “They’re always terrible for someone, maybe both people. But, we just wanted to have fun with it and we really enjoyed writing that song.”

Walker agrees with his co-writer, explaining that often people try to find the silver lining in a breakup instead of focusing on the hurt. When Combs walked into the writing session that day, told his co-writers the idea for “When It Rains It Pours,” and began playing a slow chord progression on guitar, Walker immediately said they needed to make the song more fun.

“There’s so many heartbreak songs out in the world and some great ones, don’t get me wrong, but it was just one of those things,” Walker shares. “Like he said, that tongue-in-cheek ’90’s stuff. Make it kind of rock and roll. Make it feel cool. Make it danceable. And tell a good story, don’t tell a sad story.”