Chris StapletonCountry music has a reputation for sad songs involving drinking, trucks, love gone wrong, and more drinking. While that’s still often the case, today’s stars are often more thoughtful about looking at and learning from past mistakes.

They also put on a master class in expressive writing.

Analogies (with and without “like”), the use of description, and alliteration (the same letter or sound at the start of adjacent words) all help you picture the scene and feel the mood.

Getting ready for a Chris Stapleton concert this weekend, I took another look at the lyrics of some of his songs. Here are some that appeal to me:

Tennessee Whiskey*
You’re as smooth as Tennessee whiskey / You’re as sweet as strawberry wine
You’re as warm as a glass of brandy / Honey I stay stoned on your love all the time

I see the sunrise creeping in
Everything changes like the desert wind

Street lights along the highway / Throwing shadows in the dark
And the memories keep on turning / To the rhythm of a broken heart

Was It 26
Those two years run together like whiskey over ice
Melted into memories like somebody else’s life

Up to No Good Livin’
I used to drink like a fish and run like a dog
Done a whole lotta shit not permitted by law
People called me the Picasso of painting the town

Without Your Love
Without your love / The sky is grey
Without your love / I’m waiting on the sun to shine

Scarecrow In The Garden
Well the redhead son got older / And took a brown eyed wife
And the fields were green as dollars / Cause the dirt was black as night

Do you find musicians inspiring? What lyrics speak to you?

*Ooops, actually this song is David Allan Coe’s. Chris Stapleton has certainly made it his own, though.

Related reading:
More examples of how musicians use rhyme and rhythm
Gord Downie also had a way with words