Kiss Me

Album: Sonder (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • American writer Scott Fitzgerald married the high-living Zelda Sayre in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral on April 3, 1920. The pair had a passionate, alcohol-filled relationship with frequent domestic rows usually triggered by drinking bouts. Zelda descended into mental illness, and in 1930 her husband confined her to an expensive asylum in South Carolina. Zelda remained there until her death in 1948, but Scott stayed loyal, remaining married to Zelda and visiting her in the hospital.

    In 1925, Scott Fitzgerald began his fourth novel, Tender Is The Night. It took the author nine years to complete, and during the protracted writing process, Zelda's health rapidly deteriorated. Scott's story about insanity, alcoholism and glamorous lives that metamorphosed into wretched ones drew influence from his heavy imbibing and Zelda's descent into madness.

    Tender Is the Night inspired this song. "The message behind both the video and song of 'Kiss Me' is that love is worth it," said Kennedy. "Even when things are falling apart and life feels short and there's chaos all around us, there's still always something to hold on to."
  • Kennedy sings on the chorus:

    Whatever may come, somewhere deep inside
    There's always this version of you and I
    So just kiss me the way that you would
    If we die tonight, if we die tonight


    He said the lyric means "even if everything falls apart - if it seems completely unsalvageable - that the best version of you and that person still does exist somewhere."
  • Dermot Kennedy wrote "Kiss Me" with Canadian songwriter Stephen "Koz" Kozmeniuk and Bastille frontman Dan Smith. Koz previously collaborated with Kennedy on "Power Over Me" and "Outnumbered."

    Koz also produced the track with frequent Kennedy collaborator Scott Harris and English hitmaker Steve Mac (Westlife, Little Mix, Ed Sheeran).
  • Fitzgerald took the title of his novel from John Keats' 1819 poem Ode to a Nightingale.

    Tender is the night
    And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne


    Five decades later, songwriter Danny Kortchmar co-opted the phrase for Jackson Browne's 1983 tale of love and sanctuary, "Tender Is The Night."

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