Songwriter Natalie Hemby describes the moment the song was conceived (There were sirens going off!)

By Danielle Anderson
Updated March 30, 2015 11:45 AM
Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty

Can you guess what inspired the lyrics to Little Big Town‘s 2012 hit “Tornado?” (It’s okay to go with the obvious here – this isn’t a trick question!)

Songwriter Natalie Hemby shares the story behind the tune in the new season of Front and Center, part of the CMA Songwriters Series, which returns on April 4 and also features LBT, Hunter Hayes, Sara Evans, Martina McBride and Brandy Clark.

“I’m from Nashville and we do have a lot of tornadoes come through here,” shares Hemby, who co-wrote the song at the end of 2011.

“I wrote it with this beautiful English girl, her name is Delta Maid … There were tornado sirens going off and bad weather and she’s like (in a British accent), ‘Do you have a lot of tornadoes here?’ ” Hemby describes in an upcoming episode featuring LBT.

“And I was like, ‘Actually we do’ and we just kinda started writing this song cause I relate to angry female uptempo songs. So we took it and twisted it around (no pun intended) a little bit.

“I called Karen [Fairchild, of LBT] and I said, ‘I want you to hear this song.’ I played it in front of her and the next time I saw her was at a #1 party.”

The new season of Front and Center premieres April 4 on public television. See a clip of LBT’s performance with Hemby above.

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