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Jana Kramer, ‘Whiskey’ – Lyrics Uncovered

Jana Kramer
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Jana Kramer‘s ‘Whiskey’ lyrics — penned by songwriters Catt Gravitt and Sam Mizell — were just too good to resist for the newcomer, who chose the song as the second single from her debut album. And as Mizell tells Taste of Country, the hit began as just a title.

“I am one of those writers who sticks titles away,” Mizell explains. “I’d been sitting on this one for a while. I had a couple of writing sessions with Catt, and I told her that I had this title and this thing that I wanted to run by her. I kind of told her about the song and what I was thinking. She thought it was great and kind of took off on it.”

Everybody down in Houston calls him Texas / Everybody way up north calls him cornbread / You should’ve heard the way that his mama called him baby / Daddy called him boy, his friends called him crazy,” they wrote in the opening ‘Whiskey’ lyrics.

“Catt is one of the best writers out there these days,” Mizell says, praising his co-writer. “It was her idea to have everybody call him ‘cornbread’ and all of that stuff. I was like, ‘Oh man… that’s great!’ I had a little bit of the chorus, but then she kind of took off with it. We kind of messed around on the chorus for a while, and the song kind of took off on its own.”

Shoulda just called it like I saw it / Shoulda just called for help and ran like hell that day / The burn and the sting and the high and the heat / And that left me wanting more, feeling when he kissed me / I shoulda just called him whiskey,” they wrote in the chorus.

“We wrote it several years ago, and she was working with Jana at the time,” notes Mizell of how the ‘Whiskey’ lyrics got to Kramer. “Catt played it for her, and Jana really liked it. They ended up recording it, and they put it on that ‘One Tree Hill’ TV show, I think in 2011.”

“I was writing with Catt again, quite a while later over the summer, and Catt goes, ‘I think they’re talking about releasing ‘Whiskey’ after ‘Why Ya Wanna,’” Mizell continues. “I was like, ‘No way!’ I had no idea it was going to go as far as it did. Fortunately they did, and here we are!”

Listen to Jana Kramer, 'Whiskey'

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