Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” Lyrics Meaning

In “Tennessee Whiskey”, the singer (Chris Stapleton), a man who admits that he regularly enjoys a good drink, is comparing his lover to some of his favorite spirits. Indeed the title comes from his assertion that she is “as smooth as Tennessee whiskey”. 

And various references to drinking alcohol is the motif of this particular tune. But stripped down of such metaphors, what it basically boils down to is that the narrator was lonely and somewhat hopeless in his search for true love. And as such, he is especially rejoiceful that he has found this special lady. Apparently what he appreciates most about her is her ‘smoothness’, which would be an attribute akin to grace. 

So in conclusion, “Tennessee Whiskey” is very much a love song. And one of the ways in which the singer, a drinker, expresses his affection for his significant other is by likening her to his favorite drinks.

“You’re as smooth as Tennessee whiskey
You’re as sweet as strawberry wine”

Facts about “Tennessee Whiskey”

This song written by Linda Hargrove (1949-2010) and Dean Dillon. And it was originally released by a musician named David Allan Coe in 1981.

Chris Stapleton’s version was officially released by Mercury Nashville and Decca Records on 4 November 2015. And it is featured on his first album, which is entitled “Traveller”.

“Tennessee Whiskey” was a song that Stapleton enjoyed performing – even before he formally recorded it – but never released as a standard single.  Rather it was his performance of the tune, alongside music superstar Justin Timberlake, at the 2015 CMA Awards which really caused it to blow up (on top of Stapleton having a big night in general). And blew up it did, as shortly thereafter, it topped Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

“Tennessee Whiskey” also peaked at number 20 on the Hot 100 itself and outside of the US charted in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  And as for the United States, Chris Stapleton’s homeland, it went on to be certified six-times Platinum.

Indeed Chris Stapleton’s version of “Tennessee Whiskey” was more successful than any of the renditions that had come prior. The Academy of Country Music even nominated it as Song of the Year in 2017.

Chris produced “Tennessee Whiskey” in conjunction with Dave Cobb.

3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    No mention of George Jones at all? Hmm…

  2. Anonymous says:

    same as them George jones made this first and was the better artist

  3. Anonymous says:

    Love this song

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