With a soulful spirit and a heart of gold, country sensation Chris Stapleton has won over audiences of all genres. The incredible recordings found on his debut LP Traveller reflect an artist built out of grit, passion and sincerity. Although his rhythms and melodies captivate, Stapleton is also a gifted wordsmith. Familiarize yourself with some of his most creative lyrics below.
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Co-written with Dan Wilson (Adele, Taylor Swift), this songs serves as a warning of Los Angeles' deceptive charm. Stapleton arrived at the concept while roaming LA at night. "The night before we wrote I was looking up at the sky from my hotel room and noticing how the city lights drown out the stars," told the LA Times. "I decided to take a walk down the street and find something to eat. As I walked, I noticed everyone looked like 'somebody'...I began to toy with the notion that maybe all of the L.A. stars are walking around. And perhaps some nights, they shine brighter than the city lights."
"Everybody’s, somebody, someday
Everybody’s got a part to play
Everybody’s trying to find a way
To say, what needs saying
Everybody’s got a friend of a friend
Somebody that can get you in
Begging angels for a sin
In a game that we’re all playing
You and I, we’re gamblers holding cards that we can’t see
And I’m betting on you, you’re betting on me"
Stapleton dreamed up the journeying lyrics to his album's title track while driving through New Mexico at dawn. "I thought a lot about music and my [recently-deceased] dad, and the things that he would have liked that I should be doing," Stapleton told Billboard. "Out of that, I actually wrote the song 'Traveller' driving down Interstate 40 through New Mexico. That became the cornerstone for the record and wound up being the title track."
"My heartbeat’s rhythm is a lonesome sound
Just like the rubber turning on the ground
Always lost and nowhere bound
I’m just a traveller on this earth
Sure as my heart’s behind the pocket of my shirt
I’ll just keep rolling till I’m in the dirt
‘Cause I’m a traveller, oh, I’m a traveller"
3. "Fire Away"
Vulnerability and discomfort are on full display on this gorgeous slow-burning ballad, which Stapleton penned a long time ago. “It’s a song about commitment, and it’s a song about commitment on the not-so-pretty times,” he told Paste.
"Honey load up your questions
And pick up your sticks and your stones
And pretend I’m a shelter for heartaches that don’t have a home
Choose the words that cut like a razor
And all that I’ll say is
Take your best shot
Show me what you got
Honey, I’m not afraid
Rear back and take aim
And fire away"
"Too little, too late" seems like the theme of this spirited song, in which Stapleton lists luxuries taken for granted. Yet, our tortured hero is offering to save his desperate lover, offering the protection and aid of his parachute.
"Street lights along the highway
Throwing shadows in the dark
And the memories keep on turning
To the rhythm of a broken heart
You only need a roof when it’s raining
You only need a fire when it’s cold
You only need a drink when the whiskey
Is the only thing you have left to hold
Sun comes up and goes back down
And falling feels like flying till you hit the ground
Say the word and I’ll be there for you
Baby, I will be your parachute"
1. "Whiskey And You"
Originally cut by Tim McGraw, Stapleton opted to record his composition for Traveller at the last minute while it was being mixed in the room next door. Filled with poignant imagery and heartbreaking digs, this ballad is a lesson in forgiveness and songwriting.
"There’s a bottle on the dresser by your ring
And it’s empty so right now I don’t feel a thing
And I’ll be hurting when I wake up on the floor
But I’ll be over it by noon
That’s the difference between whiskey and you
Come tomorrow, I can walk in any store
It ain’t a problem, they’ll always sell me more
But your forgiveness
Well, that’s something I can’t buy
There ain’t a thing that I can do
That’s the difference between whiskey and you"