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SBTS: Blake Shelton’s “Sangria”

SBTS: Blake Shelton’s “Sangria”
Story Behind The Song

 

Blake Shelton’s “Sangria” has a great Fleetwood Mac kind of sound to it – but it didn’t start that way. It began with a single word. Josh Osborne typed sangria into his phone because he thought it sounded cool.

So how did it get from a “cool sounding word” to a full story and song?

Josh originally envisioned the song for a female, but as he was preparing for a co-write with the eventual songwriting team (Trevor Rosen &  J.T. Harding) he started thinking through a few different story scenarios.

Take Away: Options for the word, song idea or line are what eventually get you to the song

  • Have you considered different possibilities for your story line?
  • What if you change the speaker?
  • What if you change the tense?
  • What if you change the point-of-view (1st, 2nd, 3rd)?
  • What if you change the time sequence or time frame?

All these can get from being stuck to un-stuck or mediocre to better!

In Josh’s case, “My brain just started flipping it around, thinking, ‘Well, if the girl was drinking sangria, the guy would be tasting it on her lips.’ That’s kind of a sexy image.”

He showed up with that idea and a chord progression for his co-write that day.

 

 

The Melody

 

Sometimes a great melody can come from just having a conversation (even if it’s with yourself) about what would sound cool.  Just describe it.

How could you create contrast?

What would that visually look like (hands as roller coaster here)?

In the case of “Sangria,” Trevor Rosen posited an idea: ‘If we had a chorus that really lifted and did an alternate kind of phrasing and then came came back to that, that really would set that off.’

Hmmmm – good thing to toss out there!

Take Away:  Don’t be afraid to toss out some ideas – or questions.

Sometimes questions lead to answers, that lead to more questions – and answers you never thought of!

 

The Writing Process

 

Next was perfecting the lines. Granted, I’m not super-clear on what “trying to remember what number we are” really means, but who cares!  It’s sandwiched in a line so good you forgive it and move on:

We got the last two glasses on a straw hut bar, trying to remember what number we are.

String of white lights making your eyes shine tonight.

Talk about creating a visual!

Which is what the songwriters spent most of their time on during the co-write according to Josh Osborne: “The bulk of the time working on it was spent on coloring up the lyrics, trying to find different ways of saying things that maybe you’d heard before, but we were just trying to say them in a slightly different way.”

One great example is the “wrecking ball” line, which was created out of a question: “What’s the sexiest way you can describe a drunk person stumbling down the hallway?’” Their solution: “‘A wrecking ball dancing down the hallway.’”

The last vamp came out of the need one more section. J.T. Harding “just started singing ‘The only thing I want to do tonight …’ and it was just so different and cool, but yet it felt like it fit in the song,” says Osborne.

Sangria

 

VERSE

You’re crashin’ into me like waves on the coast.
Every time we talk, you move in close.
I don’t want you stop, I don’t want you to stop tonight.
We’ve got the last two glasses on a straw hut bar,
Tryin’ to remember what number we are.
String of white lights making your eyes shine tonight.

CHORUS

We’re buzzing like that no vacancy sign out front.
Your skin is begging to be kissed by a little more than the sun.
You take my hand in yours, you lean in and –
Your lips taste like sangria.
Your lips taste like sangria.

VERSE

Wreckin’ ball dancin’ down the hallway
You’re holding your shoes, wearing my shades.
We fall against the door. We fall into a wild warm kiss.

CHORUS

We’re buzzing like that no vacancy sign out front.
Your skin is begging to be kissed by a little more than the sun.
You take my hand in yours, you lean in and –
Your lips taste like sangria.
Your lips taste like sangria.

BRIDGE

Only thing I want to do tonight
Is drink you like a Spanish wine –
Let you let this head of mine keep spinning, spinning around.

CHORUS

We’re buzzing like that no vacancy sign out front.
Your skin is begging to be kissed by a little more than the sun.
You take my hand in yours, you lean in and –
Your lips taste like sangria
Your lips taste like sangria

Your lips taste like sangria
Your lips taste like sangria

OUTRO

Oh

Only thing I want to do tonight
Is drink you like a Spanish wine –
Let you let this head of mine keep spinning, spinning around.

 

the bootThis story is adapted from an interview originally appearing on TheBoot.com. For more country music stories, the latest country music news, and stories behind some of country music’s greatest hits past and present, please visit their site.





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