Powerful Meaning Of “Heart Like A Truck” By Lainey Wilson

Lainey Wilson has turned out to be one of the most popular country singers of recent years. She’s produced hit singles like Wait In The Truck and Heart Like A Truck, finding tremendous success with her powerful and deep songs that provide a bit of a renaissance for country music as a whole. In this article, we’ll dive into the meaning of her hit single Heart Like A Truck.

The Success of Heart Like A Truck

Lainey Wilson - Heart Like A Truck (Official Music Video)

Heart Like A Truck was released as the lead single from Wilson’s second album Bell Bottom Country in 2022. It quickly found success on the charts, rising to number one on the Canadian Country charts and number two on the US Country Airplay chart. The music video for the song went on to win Female Video of the Year at the 2023 CMT Music Awards

The Real Meaning of Heart Like A Truck

Before breaking down the lyrics of the track, we should take a look at the actual title and the meaning you can pull from it on your own. Yes, trucks are a very common theme in country music, and they have been for quite some time. And a truck is a special thing. They represent their owner in a way. They’re also tough, they get through tough terrain, they work hard, and they’re reliable.

June 5, 2022 – Ford Maverick XLT AWD with FX4 Off-Road Package in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Image source: MercurySable99, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just by looking at the title, these are all meanings you can pull from the song. Trucks are strong, typically stronger than cars when it comes to dealing with heavy loads. So the narrator’s heart is much like a truck, in that it can handle anything you throw at it and keep on going. 

Now we can dive into the actual lyrics of the track a bit. 

I never stay in one place too long
A dirt road’s singin’ me a siren song
I gotta find a field
I need to spin my wheels
I gotta hankerin’ for four wide tires
And I can’t help it, it’s the way I’m wired
Boy, you get too close
Boy you need to know

February 6, 2020 – With tour guide Kenzi Youssef from the Blue Nile to South Sudan. Image source: Yousifjoe7766, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Heart Like A Truck stays close to a lot of the themes Wilson sings about in her music. The narrator of the song is a rambling woman, never staying in one place too long and yearning for her freedom. Being able to get into her truck and take off is a source of freedom for her, though whether it’s for pleasure or because she’s running from something we aren’t sure yet. 

But while she’s explaining who she is as a person, it also serves as a warning for anyone who tries to get close to her. In this case, it appears to be directed towards a male romantic partner who’s taken an interest in her. She sees her longing for the open road and traveling as a potential obstacle to any sort of relationship. In this verse, she’s warning her potential partner that this is who she is, and they need to know about it long before they decide that they have something serious going on. 

February 25, 2022 – A person packing their luggage into the boot of a car. Image source: Familydestinationsguide.com Images, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Frankly, it’s a kind warning. Who would want their partner to take off on them one day out of the blue?

There ain’t no brakin’ when I throw it in drive
Don’t always keep it in-between the lines
If you’re ready for a ride, pedal-down state of mind
Boy, I tell you what, you better buckle up

The second verse is a continuation of her warning from the first one, and she makes it as plain and as simple as she possibly can for the guy. If she decides to go elsewhere, nothing is going to stop her, including their potential relationship. Of course, this doesn’t rule out them going with her completely, but it is a warning that if she gets the urge, she’s out of there. 

Lines included like “Don’t always keep it between the lines” are more indicative of her fickle state of mind. While it could be interpreted as her going outside the bounds of normal or stable choices, I don’t think that’s the point she’s trying to get across in this verse. It seems much more likely that this is about her ability to change her mind on the fly, going back and forth between decisions in a wild and uncertain sort of way. 

August 20, 2005 – Typical rural paved county road in Bremen, a small town in Marshall County, Indiana. Image source: Derek Jensen (Tysto), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I got a heart like a truck
It’s been drug through the mud
Runs on dreams and gasoline
And that old highway holds the key
It’s got a lead foot down when it’s leavin
Lord knows it’s taken a hell of a beatin’
A little bit of love is all that it’s needin
But it’s good as it is tough
I got a heart like a truck

The first and second verses of the song are basically billboards that explain why falling for her is probably a bad idea. However, the chorus doesn’t hit the same notes, at least not all of them. She is rambling, but it’s because she’s been through too much. She would rather leave a situation before the other person leaves. Rather than wait for the end, she would rather get out on her own terms. This can be because of past heartbreaks and let-downs that have left her a bit jaded when it comes to love. 

July 2, 2011 – More mud-throwing madness from up near James Peak, Colorado. Image source: Zach Dischner, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The first couple of lines allude to those problems in her past. She’s been drug through the mud too much to truly trust a situation. And just like a truck, she’s been able to come out of it fine each time, though a little more rough around the edges. 

But her feeling jaded about love doesn’t mean she isn’t open to it. Likening her heart to an old beat-up truck, she just needs a little love and care to get what she needs. It can take a lot of work to maintain a beat-up vehicle, but it’s a labor of love that keeps it running, just like what she needs in her life. 

Lainey Wilson Performs “Heart Like A Truck” | 2023 CMT Music Awards

All speculation aside, the real meaning has never been something Wilson intended to hide for this track. After winning the CMT Award for Female Video of the Year for the song, she gave several interviews that delved into the deeper meaning of it. 

“This song right here is about finding freedom and strength. It’s about not being afraid of the scratches and dents and bumps along the way.”

In a later interview, she would describe it like this: 

“It was some hard days. It taught me that this thing was not going to be easy. It taught me perseverance. And when things didn’t work out my way, when doors closed right in my face, that made me work harder.”

April 20, 2018 – Nashville skyline from Fort Negley. Image source: Jacknstock, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For Wilson, the track describes her up-and-down journey as she tried making it in Nashville. But it also serves as a reminder to listeners who feel the same way as the person in the song that they aren’t alone.

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