Steal My Kisses

Album: Burn to Shine (1999)
Charted: 111
Play Video


  • This is one of those songs that sounds very sweet, but is a little disturbing in the verse lyrics. The guy in the song heads to Nashville to see a girl, but she wants no part of him. He follows her to Carolina, letting her know, "I'm gonna be right there behind ya," whether she likes it or not.

    He has to steal his kisses because she won't give them out.

    But with a jaunty melody and Harper's charm, it's hard to hear this song as anything but a tender missive of love. And he's not the first guy to assume the character of a stalker in a sweet-sounding song: Sting did it on The Police hit "Every Breath You Take."
  • This was part of Harper's fourth album, Burn To Shine. By this time, he had built up a loyal following and was reliably selling about 200,000 copies of every album. "Steal My Kisses" was his first song to get substantial radio play, earning him a new cadre of fans.

    This was a double-edged sword: Harper expanded his audience, but many of his new fans expected more songs with a similar sound, and his record company wanted more hits like it. He stayed true to his eclectic stylings, which pleased his long-time fans. "Steal My Kisses" ended up being his only song to appear on the Hot 100, bubbling under at #111.
  • The beatboxing on this track was handled by Harper's stage manager, Nick Rich.
  • The video was directed by Harper's producer/manager, J.P. Plunier. Reminiscent of the David Lee Roth video for "California Girls," it featured columns of bikini-clad beauties at the beach.
  • Along with G. Love & Special Sauce, Harper developed a fanbase of surfers in the '90s with mellow tracks like this one. Around the time of "Steal My Kisses," Jack Johnson was emerging in this community. He and Harper became good friends, and Harper appeared on Johnson's 2001 debut album Brushfire Fairytales, which sold over a million copies and launched him to stardom.

    "Ben and I have a similar approach to performance, which is really going for it and laying everything on the line with all this passion and wild energy, and Jack's approach is simply laid-back," G. Love told Songfacts. "He was just standing up there strumming a couple of chords on the guitar, and you could see people connect with it."

Comments: 1

  • Max from South CarolinaThis song is super gross and I hope it never gets played on a large platform again. Imagine how it must feel for anyone who's had experience with a stalker or sexual assault, this song is disgusting
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.

When Rock Belonged To Michelob

When Rock Belonged To MichelobSong Writing

Michelob commercials generated hits for Eric Clapton, Genesis and Steve Winwood in the '80s, even as some of these rockers were fighting alcoholism.

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & TearsSongwriter Interviews

The longtime BS&T frontman tells the "Spinning Wheel" story, including the line he got from Joni Mitchell.

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Chris Frantz of Talking Heads

Chris Frantz of Talking HeadsSongwriter Interviews

Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz on where the term "new wave" originated, the story of "Naive Melody," and why they never recorded another cover song after "Take Me To The River."

Dr. John

Dr. JohnSongwriter Interviews

The good doctor shares some candid insights on recording with Phil Spector and The Black Keys.