Chris Stapleton Higher Album (Unofficial)
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‘Higher’ by Chris Stapleton - Lyrics & Meaning

November 22, 2023 5:55 pm GMT
Last Edited December 18, 2023 8:33 pm GMT

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Chris Stapleton - ‘Higher’

Label: Mercury Nashville

Release Date: November 10th 2023

Producers: Dave Cobb, Morgane Stapleton & Chris Stapleton

Songwriter: Chris Stapleton

The Background:

The title-track from Chris Stapleton's lauded 2023 album, in many ways, ‘Higher’ serves as the keystone to the project. The stripped-back ode to his wife, Morgane, is imbued with a sweet, rose-tinted sense of ease and affection, as Stapleton paints a vivid picture of how joyful and elated Morgane makes our protagonist feel.

Although it was only released in November 2023, Chris Stapleton revealed to Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music that ‘Higher’ was one of the first songs he wrote when he moved to Nashville.

It seems apt that Chris Stapleton decided to name his album after this track, given how the record acts primarily as a love letter to Morgane, with ‘Higher’ undoubtedly being one of the most stirring tributes to their relationship on the project.

The Sound:

In classic Chris Stapleton fashion, ‘Higher’ oozes charisma thanks to the lethal combination of his dexterous vocals and the slow-building composition. He spends much of the song crooning across nothing more than a laid-back bass and some pining steel, but then viscerally ups the ante when he launches into a roar as the electric guitars light up the track.

Throughout ‘Higher’, it feels like Chris Stapleton is in dialogue with the instrumentation, as the Kentucky native adds gravitas by letting the guitars breathe in-between each line.

The Meaning:

“I could climb the highest hill
Reach my hands up to the sky
Maybe touch a passing cloud
My heart would know all the while

That you take me higher
So much higher”

Chris Stapleton evocatively describes how, even if he mounted the tallest hill possible and managed to catch a cloud, he still wouldn't feel as high as he does when he's with Morgane.

He uses physical height as a way of showcasing the emotional levity and jubilance that her presence brings him. Throughout ‘Higher’, although Stapleton repeatedly portrays scenes and feelings of elevation, each lyric is underpinned - somewhat paradoxically - by the notion that Morgane helps to keep him grounded.

“I could board an aeroplane
And look down across the land
But it could never reach that place
That I know your sweet loving can”

He brings in the image of flying across the sky in a plane, before underlining that it couldn't transport him anywhere half as rewarding and fulfilling as Morgane's love takes him.

“Your love's the sunrise that turns my night into day
It gives me wings and lets me fly away”

Stapleton compares Morgane's affection to the rising sun, which brings light to the darkness, with Morgane able to lift Stapleton out of any mental troubles or ruts he experiences.

He follows on from the earlier airplane metaphor by depicting Morgane's love as giving him wings, which in turn allows him to fly far higher - physically and emotionally - than the plane could take him. This reference to having wings conjures up images of angels, with Stapleton perceiving Morgane as his saviour.

“I could shoot out into space
Count the endless sea of stars
But with you I'd have to say
My heaven's never quite that far”

With this final portrayal, Chris Stapleton takes things up a notch - quite literally - by eschewing the imagery of flying across the sky in favour of being propelled much higher, ending up space.

However, this still isn't high enough to come close to how Chris Stapleton feels with Morgane. Stapleton describes his personal “heaven” as being much more down-to-earth, with the singer-songwriter finding his happy place whenever he's with his wife. With this verse, we again get the implication that he sees Morgane as his angel.

What has Chris Stapleton said about ‘Higher’?

Speaking to Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music, Chris Stapleton explained that he's had ‘Higher’ up his sleeve for a number of years, “‘Higher’ is a song that's off the first demo session I ever did when I came and moved to town. It's a song I wrote by myself, and it was a step or a step and a half lower at that point in time than this. I tuned down a half step from standard to, I don't know, I think we landed at least a step or a step and a half higher on this just because I was feeling good that day and had it because I'd been working on it. And we haven't recorded this song for any other album”.

Stapleton then revealed that ‘Higher’ is one of Morgane's favourite songs, and that she was keen for him to record it on previous projects, “My wife has asked for it for every album”.

For the full lyrics to Chris Stapleton’s ‘Higher’ see below:

“I could climb the highest hill
Reach my hands up to the sky
Maybe touch a passing cloud
My heart would know all the while

That you take me higher
So much higher

I could board an aeroplane
And look down across the land
But it could never reach that place
That I know your sweet loving can

'Cause you take me higher
So much higher

Your love's the sunrise that turns my night into day
It gives me wings and lets me fly away

I could shoot out into space
Count the endless sea of stars
But with you I'd have to say
My heaven's never quite that far

'Cause you take me higher
So much higher
So much higher”

For more on Chris Stapleton, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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