Neon Church

Album: Yet to be titled (2018)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • When Tim McGraw was in his late teens he used to play in bars and honky tonks which were dotted with neon signs. This ballad finds him singing of a brokenhearted dude searching for a barroom salvation after a breakup. He drowns his sorrows in the sort of drinking establishment that the McGraw grew up performing in.

    A neon church
    With a jukebox choir
    Full of honky tonk angels
    With their wings on fire
    Straight pourin' out that Johnnie Walker healin'


    McGraw explained to iHeartRadio, "When you're sort of in that pulpit so to speak, up on the stage, and you look out across a bar, you see a lot of life go by you. And you see a lot of different scenarios of people going through a lot of different stages and parts in their life."
  • "Neon Church" was written by Ben Stennis (Jason Aldean's "First Time Again," Justin Moore's "Hell On A Highway"), Ben Goldsmith (Jerrod Niemann's "Blue Bandana") and newcomer Ross Ellis Lipsey. McGraw first heard the song while waiting to pick up his daughter at her school. After listening to it, he instantly realized its message is one he couldn't pass up.

    "It's tough to find a song that's got this kind of drive and this power and this weight to it, that's got such a great lyric," he explained. "And then right off the bat, when you hear 'I need Jesus or I need whiskey,' you're hooked into the song right away. And it only gets better from there."
  • McGraw co-produced the song with longtime collaborator Byron Gallimore. He said that he set out to build a big sound that would blow people away as he wanted the listener "to almost feel the flames lickin' at you, From hell. Comin' at you with the guitars." So the pair talked to the guitarist Michael Landau and asked him to play some "Prince guitar."
  • The song's music video follows the different ways people try to get over a breakup by heading to the bar.

    "The song has a lot of grit, and there's a darkness to it," McGraw explained. "So we wanted the video to carry some of that darkness and moodiness."

    "But you also have the neon… the light," he added. "Neon light is literally the calling card to a bar - you also have the human light that calls people to be together."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

90s MetalFact or Fiction

Test your metal - Priest, Maiden, and Beavis and Butt-head show up in this one.

The Punk Photography of Chris SteinSong Writing

Chris Stein of Blondie shares photos and stories from his book about the New York City punk scene.

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

Stephen Christian of AnberlinSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist for Anberlin breaks down "Impossible" and covers some tracks from their 2012 album Vital.

Edwin McCainSongwriter Interviews

"I'll Be" was what Edwin called his "Hail Mary" song. He says it proves "intention of the songwriter is 180 degrees from potential interpretation by an audience."