Are you ready to make a moonlight soaked, ring of smoke, right hand on a cold one “Confession?”
The new single by Florida Georgia Line does a great job of painting a picture for the listener. There’s so much to see in this lyric! Great job by songwriters Ross Copperman, Matt Jenkins, and Rodney Clawson. Let’s take a look into this hit lyric. I’m going to put the imagery in bold blue.
Rusty barbed wire lines these fields
Gravel dust behind the wheels
Drifting like my mind into the rearview
Jet trails cutting across the sky
I’m rolling through the open wide
Searching for a song to drink beer to
And trying to find a place to disappear to
I light up the night and let it burn
Lean back and watch the sundown fade
Do what I do when life’s a little sideways
I take a sip and say a prayer
Wait for a shooting star and stare
Off at the headlights on the highway
That guy in the windshield looking back looks just like me
But there’s a crack in the reflection
This is just a moonlight soaked, ring of smoke
Right hand on a cold one confession
Embers in the ashtray glow
like memories that won’t let go
I’m out here trying to get ’em untangled
In the darkness on the edge of town
A little lost, a little found
Waiting on a call from an angel
REPEAT CHORUS TWICE
That’s a ton of images! I really puts the listener into the scene. Right away, the listener knows where the song is taking place. We don’t have to drift around without an anchor. We immediately see fields lined with barbed wire. I’m watching the movie.
The writers also do a nice job of showing the singer’s emotional state. Notice how they compare “memories that won’t let go” to embers glowing in the ashtray. And how they put an image to how he feels broken by putting a crack in his windshield reflection. Great stuff.
SHOWING is so much more interesting than just TELLING that he feels broken and has memories he can’t forget. Show me, don’t tell me.
If you want your songs to stand out, put killer imagery in your lyrics.
Since strong imagery is such an important part of professional-level songwriting, I’ve put together a course on imagery. It’s called, “Use Imagery To Supercharge Your Songwriting (Like The Pros Do)” and it’s available now!
I’ve also created two LIVE, ONLINE workshops for “Use Imagery To Supercharge Your Songwriting (Like The Pros Do).” Each workshop includes ALL the regular course materials- and they are now available for less than the price of the regular course!
Time is about to run out, so don’t delay. The workshops are on February 16 and 18, and a ticket comes with ALL the materials for the full course:
*2 hours of video teaching
*1 hour of audio (great for listening on-the-go)
And, of course, you get an hour of additional coaching on the live, online workshop. I’ll cover materials not included in the regular course, and we’ll do plenty of Q&A. It’s your chance to ask me your songwriting questions.
As long as you have an internet connection, you can join us! (We’ll be using the Fuze online platform, which is free.)
By the end of the course, you’ll have the basic skills to:
- Effectively use both literal and figurative imagery.
- Make your story come to life using imagery.
- Prove your character’s personality using imagery.
- Make your listener connect to your character’s emotions using imagery.
- Hook your listener in the song’s first few lines using imagery.
- And to begin more songs (more easily) using imagery exercises as the start of your songwriting process.
To find out more, just…
Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.