Chris Stapleton Higher Album (Unofficial)
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'Crosswind' by Chris Stapleton - Lyrics & Meaning

November 15, 2023 4:43 pm GMT

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Chris Stapleton - 'Crosswind'

Label: Mercury Nashville

Release Date: 10th November 2023

Album: Higher

Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton & Morgane Stapleton

Songwriters: Chris Stapleton, J.T. Cure, Derek Mixon, Dave Cobb

The Background:

The twelfth song on Chris Stapleton's fifth studio album Higher, released on 10th November 2023, 'Crosswind' is about trucker life, and came about whilst Stapleton and the band were driving on the I-65.

Lyrically, he explores the challenges and struggles of life out on the road away from family, and the constant dedication given by those who pursue it.

The Sound:

'Crosswind' has a steady, rolling beat and an expansive atmosphere punctuated by twangy guitar licks, calling to mind winding roads through deserts and open plains.

Put simply, it's a driving song, in every sense.

The Meaning:

I can see what's comin' for me by the way that it's bendin' the pines
Brother, me and these 18-wheels are gonna hammer on down the line
Flyin' like a bat out of hell, tearin' out of North Alabama
Signs are sayin' "Jesus Saves" but the devil don't give a damn

The strong winds bending the pines are indicative of harsh struggles on the road ahead, but Stapleton is resolute in his journey. The daily grind is being likened to the devil in its relentlessness - something even salvation in religion couldn't overcome.


Tryin' to keep all the rubber on '65
Might not make it out alive
White knucklin' the wheel just to survive
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind

The drive is hard and occasionally life threatening. Stapleton describes gripping onto the steering wheel with all his strength to keep the wheels on the road and himself as safe as possible.


Sometimes, what drives a man ain't nothin' but a matter of will
When a man's got a heavy load, he just tryin' to make it over thе hill
Burnin' the hours taking truck-stop showers and sleepin' in the chеap motels
Pickin' up speed on a mission to feed five kids with a CDL

In this verse Stapleton outlines the sacrifices made by truck drivers for the sakes of their families - living without creature comforts and under the pressures of having to provide with nothing but strong will and a Commercial Drivers Licence.

Tryin' to keep all the rubber on '65
Might not make it out alive
White knuckling the wheel just to survive
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind

It's a fight in the dark of night with another hundred miles to run
When your mind starts tryin' to find ways to get you out from under the gun
This livin' ain't much of a life but it's the only thing I know how to do
I miss you, honey, but I gotta make some money
So, I'm hopin' I can make it through

The trucker hours are unforgiving and under such stress and exhaustion the mind starts to wander into negative places. It might not be a glamorous life but it's a noble one.

Tryin' to keep all the rubber on '65
Might not make it out alive
White knuckling the wheel just to survive
Caught in the crosswind (x6)

What has Chris Stapleton said about ‘Crosswind’?

Speaking to Apple Music, Stapleton said, "'Crosswind’ was an idea I got driving on I-65 from Florida back to Tennessee; it was really windy. It really didn’t turn into a song until the guys were kind of jamming on this groove and [someone] was like, ‘Wait, this is what this is.’ And we wrote a truck-driving song in the moment."

For the full lyrics to 'Crosswind’, see below:

I can see what's comin' for me by the way that it's bendin' the pines
Brother, me and these 18-wheels are gonna hammer on down the line
Flyin' like a bat out of hell, tearin' out of North Alabama
Signs are sayin' "Jesus Saves" but the devil don't give a damn

Tryin' to keep all the rubber on '65
Might not make it out alive
White knucklin' the wheel just to survive
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind

Sometimes, what drives a man ain't nothin' but a matter of will
When a man's got a heavy load, he just tryin' to make it over thе hill
Burnin' the hours taking truck-stop showers and sleepin' in the chеap motels
Pickin' up speed on a mission to feed five kids with a CDL

Tryin' to keep all the rubber on '65
Might not make it out alive
White knuckling the wheel just to survive
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind

It's a fight in the dark of night with another hundred miles to run
When your mind starts tryin' to find ways to get you out from under the gun
This livin' ain't much of a life but it's the only thing I know how to do
I miss you, honey, but I gotta make some money
So, I'm hopin' I can make it through

Tryin' to keep all the rubber on '65
Might not make it out alive
White knuckling the wheel just to survive
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind

Caught in the crosswind
Caught in the crosswind

---

For more on Chris Stapleton, see below:

Written by Ciara Bains
Author - Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton
Artist