“Up Down” song is one of Morgan Wallen’s defining ones in his career. It is a product of a collaboration between him and the American country music duo Florida George Line. The song was an instant hit with the country fans. As soon as it was released as a single, it reached the number 1 spot on Billboard Country Airplay. It also reached the fifth position on the Hot Country Songs chart. Considering its mainstream commercial success, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it as platinum. The writing behind the song is also a result of a collaboration between Hardy, Brad Clawson, and CJ Solar. The music video produced for this song also acted as support to further this song’s popularity among country fans.
Morgan Wallen has lately been in the news for all the wrong reasons. But even because of his questionable actions, his musical talent cannot be denied or downplayed. There are only a few artists in the industry who are working actively to revive the country genre. Morgan Wallen is one of those artists. The song also inspired a parody of it made by Cledus T. Judd. In total, the song has sold and streamed over 3,160,000 times in America and Canada.
What does the title mean?
The title of the song “Up Down” can be interpreted in multiple ways. It is perhaps about the ups and downs of life. However, if one takes the context of the music video of the song, it is also about the lifestyle projected by Morgan Wallen and Florida George Line. They live life to the fullest with parties on their mind. They have the vibe to light up any place with joy and celebration. And they do so with their music.
Verse 1 – What does it mean?
“It’s Friday after 5, got here just in time
Went ahead and wet a line ‘fore I went and lost my mind
I ain’t been here long, but the bobber’s in the pond
Going up down, up, down, up, down
Tonight, we’re gonna raise a whole lot more than cane
‘Cause there’s money in the bank and tomorrow’s Saturday
So if they pass that fifth of Jack this way
I turn it up, down, up, down, up, down”
The first verse begins once Friday arrives. The arrival of Friday is a major motif in most songs. Most people get a break from their work on Friday evening for the weekend. That’s when the party starts. The singer narrates that once the clock hits 5 on Friday, he heads towards the pond with his fishing line. Fishing is an activity that is actively associated with the country. “Bobber” refers to a piece of fishing equipment that is used with the bait. The bobber also goes up and down in the pond, similar to the life of the singer. Once the weekend arrives, it’s all up. After it’s over, it’s presumably down.
“Cane” could be a reference to Raising Canes, a famous fast-food chain in the South. For the singer, this weekend will be all about the highs and the lows. He’s got money and time (as it’s Saturday tomorrow). If his friends pass him some Jack Daniels, he turns it up and down by getting drunk.
Chorus – What does it mean?
“We just holding it down here in BFE
Still rolling around with a burnt CD
Free Bird, five minutes deep
Head bobbing up, down, up, down, up, down
We got what we got, we don’t need the rest
Can turn this parking lot into a party
With an ice chest, dancing, cold beer
Man, we live it up, down, up, down
We live it up down…here”
“BFE” is a commonly used phrase in the country genre. It stands for “Bum Fucked Egypt” and means in the middle of fucking nowhere. Country artists take pride in living in the isolated country as that is where they get their artistic inspiration from. The singer is proud to be holding it down in BFE and he’s still burning multiple songs into CDs. Burning CDs is perhaps out of fashion now, but it was a way to load anything into a CD. These lines imply that Morgan Wallen and Florida George Line like to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as its shallowness. They keep it old school.
Apart from that, they also mention that they’ve got the power to turn a parking lot into a party place with some beers and dancing. They live their life with no worries on their minds. The contrast being created here is between city life and country life. This is a comparison that has dominated country lyrics since the inception of this genre.
What does the post-Chorus mean?
“What you know about it, T-Hubb?
What up, baby?”
The post-chorus gives a shout-out to T-Hubb, a fellow artist as well as a friend of Morgan Wallen.
Verse 2 – What does it mean?
“Yeah, the girls, they hit the spot, even hotter when it’s hot
If you can’t buy her a yacht, but still proud of what you got
‘Cause when the day’s done, red neck is from the sun
Going up, down, up, down, up, down”
The second verse by Florida George Line focuses solely on women. They emphasize that country girls are hot. It’s their way of saying that country girls are no less than city girls in terms of beauty, sexuality, swag, and style. The duo also mentions that country boys may not be able to buy their girls yachts, yet they’re proud of what they have. What they have is their identity – embracing the redneck.
In the second couplet, the duo explains that their red neck is from working all day in the sun. Redneck has become a sort of a racist slur. It carries certain negative connotations. This verse is Florida George Line’s attempt to counter those negative connotations.
Bridge – What does it mean?
“Somebody pass that fifth of Camp this way
I’ll turn it up, down, up, down, up, down”
“The fifth of Camp” refers to Oldcamp Whiskey. It was developed by BK and Tyler of Florida George Line. Tyler along with other country artists claim that this brand of whiskey reminds them of where they come from. It has the essence of the country in it. It can also be a neatly placed product placement in a catchy song. It all depends upon the perspective one takes.
Even after the controversy, Morgan Wallen is still being supported by various country artists. Wallen was caught on camera using the n-word along with his friends. Many in the industry have stood up for him due to his efforts in reviving the genre. However, such actions do not help country music. To detach this music genre from the racial baggage that it carries, country artists, as well as their fans, have to focus on the evolution of country music as a genre.
“Up Down” was the second single of Wallen released in 2017 and it attempted to do just that – redefine country music and make it even chiller. Yet, the controversies surrounding his personal life continue to overshadow his artistic attempts.