Top 10 of Kip Moore’s most evocative literary lyrics
Yes, Kip Moore and his group, the Slowhearts, put on a frenzied musical show at every performance. Yes, he’s a very good producer, yes, he writes music for the fans and with his heart.
But did you know that Kip and his co-writers also seem to write songs for the writers? Through the microscopic study of his lyrics (it helps his songs be so repeat-worthy), I have noticed that he helps us develop our literary understanding through the imagery of his songs, to create characters to add detail to stories and to show themes without over-narrative.
A picture is worth a thousand words, the saying goes. With Kip’s carefully chosen lyrics, he paints a three-minute film. With a fantastic soundtrack.
Here are just 10 of Kip’s literary lyrics (out of over 80 possible candidates) if you want to write, or teach songwriting, or write your own songs, or just dive a little deeper into Kip’s four albums and two EPs. enigmatic, authentic singer-songwriter that is Kip Moore.
10. Bittersweet Company, Slowheart
(Josh Miller, Kip Moore, Troy Verges)
The bittersweet oxymoron in the title captures the emotion in this tale of lost love, while the opening verse uses a pathetic error to match the season with the mood, “summer…of white magnolias in bloom…winter came, brought rain”. Who needs to read dead poets to pass an English test?
9. Lipstick, wild
(Westin Davis/David Frasier, Kip Moore, Justin Weaver)
Sometimes we might also need some help with geography, so we turn to Lipstick, one of Kip’s most underrated songs, which covers twenty-four US destinations WITH landscape references (more than double of the classic road trip song, Route 66). The song also heads into a metaphor, with the idea of kissing lipstick providing a unique way to present a kiss.
8. Daughter of Summer, the Savages
(Blair Daly, Kip Moore, Troy Verges)
The intangible subject matter of the themes can be difficult to grasp, until GoS, with one of the strongest lyrics, perhaps because of a verb, “Boardwalk’s empty, gray STOLE the blue from the sky”. With this introduction, we know that we are at the end of summer. The season and lost love are repeated throughout the verses and chorus, with frequent mention of burning (the literal and metaphorical burning of their love). Alliteration appears with ‘grindin’ through the gravel’ and ‘steel sticking’ to maintain the lyrical rhythm as easily as the music. Are you looking for a simile to convey an emotion? “I felt like a wrecking ball hitting me in the chest.” Onomatopoeia? Wind HOWLIN. Metaphor, ‘I was just another/Sunset fadin’ in your eyes’.
7. Carefree (still growing). up all night
(Dan Couch, Kip Moore)
Kip is a metaphor for honesty, and Reckless is an exercise in a three-minute memoir, capturing Kip’s 20s. Speaking of metaphor, have you come across anything else that evokes a bruise like “I chatted with the wrong guy and got a tattoo on my jawline”?
6. Plead the Fifth, Slowheart
(Luke Dick, Josh Kear)
The Fifth Amendment reference in the title — keep silent, the less you incriminate yourself — immediately hooks up, quickly followed by a chorus of rhetorical questions, metaphors, and alliteration in “Did I Ever Mix Your Memory With Tennessee ?” and “drown in 90 proofs”. Kip didn’t co-write this track, but I’m sure it was an easy yes when the song came along.
5. Guitarman, Slowheart
(Dan Couch, Westin Davis, Kip Moore)
There are fans who know Kip’s heart wrung out by this tribute to life on the road and a classic 80s song (Billy Joel’s Piano Man) and also know we need more lyrical beauties like this. on albums. To quote Shakespeare’s Polonius, “brevity is the soul of wit,” and this song stands tall with every word perfectly placed. No room for filler on any of Kip’s albums OR on this song. Also, “two-tone rust bucket” is a great metaphor for describing a worn-out truck. I love the haunting, alliterative imagery of “in shadow / stands a stool and a stage / where many souls before me have been exposed”, the theme of loneliness amplified in “empty, faceless mic stand ‘ and ‘to help them hold on or forget for a while’.
4. Midnight Slow Dance, Underground (and Wild World Deluxe)
(Dan Couch, Mike Elizondo, Kip Moore)
I first heard Midnight Slow Dance on the Underground EP (and finally on a UK stage in 2019). And there’s something so deliciously absorbing about this song. It could be the juxtaposition of a slow dance and a fast track. It could be the raw words of love spoken as if by a Springsteen student. It’s definitely the music, starting with that opening riff that sounds like a door opening to a fabulous party. Lyrically, this song provides rhythm with the combination of short verses and a long chorus; ‘I want to take you in my arms, wrap you in romance’. The burning metaphor returns, contrasted with an image of water.
3. Man Must Do, Wild World Deluxe
(Dan Couch, Westin Davis, Kip Moore)
New Jersey natives Bon Jovi and Springsteen wrote the perfect coming-of-age stories in Living on a Prayer and The River. Moore has Man’s Gotta Do; the cycle of a love breakup, broken with a maturity of the character and of his Katie, his diamond with his diamond. Couch, Davis and Kip, a hell of a trio of songwriters, don’t end the song there, but rather send the man, “in fourteen days to a foreign country”. Talk about writing a page-turner. I hope Part 2 is in the catalog of new stories Kip has to share.
2. Southpaw, Wild World Deluxe
(Westin Davis, Kip Moore)
Southpaw is the most Western song Kip Moore has recorded, and we need more. The catchy song of a lonely character by Clint Eastwood, with the sass of a Billy from the Young Guns. First, the verbs (and apostrophes), almost at the start of every line of the first verse: ‘livin’…ridin’…kickin’…drinkin’…wearin’. It’s a lively, breathing action song. Next, the chorus contrast of a, ‘gun slingin’ Southpaw’, although that type of weapon is not allowed in a boxing ring. Followed by ‘don’t you know legends never die’.
1. Heart’s desire, savages
(Adam Browder, Dan Couch, Kip Moore, Erich Wigdahl)
HD, how do I love you? Let me count the nice comparisons: five, including “the night falls on me like a big black coat” and “like a boxer lying on the canvas floor”. Add to that Springsteen’s metaphor of “I’m a raging fire” echoing the Boss “I’m on fire”, and Kip exclaiming “I’ve done 52 rounds with your memory” to mean a year since the end. of the relationship.
Beautiful. Sincere. A wonderful kind of regret.
What’s your favorite Kip Moore song?