The Real Meaning Behind ‘The Good Ones’ By Gabby Barrett

Gabby Barrett is a non-stop wonder. The country singer is a bonafide music superstar and, if we needed further proof, she’s close with Dolly Parton. (If Dolly likes someone, then we like them, too.)

Barrett has had an amazing journey, getting her start on season 16 of American Idol in 2018, per Billboard. While she came in third, following runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson and winner Maddie Poppe, Barrett got all the exposure she needed. Barrett also had another happy development through American Idol: she met her husband, Cade Foehner. He was also competing for the crown on season 16. Love (and super successful careers) were their prizes!

It was Barrett’s song “I Hope,” which was released in January 2019, that really launched her career. The song was a hit, but it also gave a negative view of love because the singer wished karmic retribution on an ex. But Barrett’s later song, “The Good Ones,” offers a totally different vibe. Here’s what the song really means.

Gabby Barrett wrote this song for her husband

Gabby Barrett’s song, “The Good Ones,” was written for her husband, Cade Foehner. She told The Boot in June 2020 what was on her mind as she was writing the song. “I had just been thinking of when we were dating, at the time during American Idol, people in my family would ask me, like, ‘How’s your boyfriend doing?’ And I’d be like, ‘Oh, he’s good. He’s a good one. He’s a keeper,'” Barrett recalled.

She compared the song to her previous hit. “And so I was like, ‘I need to write a song for the good ones,’ because with ‘I Hope,’ it’s like, I don’t want to give people this false hope of just saying all relationships stink and you can’t ever trust anybody, because that’s definitely not the case.”

“The Good Ones” is clearly a love song about someone stable and familiar. Barrett opens with the lyrics: “He’s a phone call to his parents / He’s a Bible by the bed / He’s the T-shirt that I’m wearing / He’s the song stuck in my head / He’s solid and he’s steady” (via Genius).

The music video is also beautiful. Barrett featured Madeline Delp, who was named Ms. Wheelchair USA in 2017, according to People, who plays out a love story with the male star, Patrick Worstell. Barrett said, “I wanted the video to be authentic and genuine, as well as be captured just the right way, so finding Madeline to play our leading lady was such a gift!”

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