The Meaning Behind Chris Stapleton’s Hopeful Hit “Starting Over”

In 2015, Chris Stapleton became a country music superstar seemingly overnight following the release of his debut album, Traveller. Years before his success as a solo artist, the Kentucky native proved himself as one of the genre’s most gifted songwriters, penning hits for George Strait, Kenny Chesney, and many more.

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But Stapleton’s gifts as both a vocalist, musician, and lyricist shine the brightest in his own recordings. In November 2020, he dazzled critics and fans with his fourth album, Starting Over. The project’s stellar lead single and title track helped usher in a new creative era for Stapleton. 

The Lyrics

Stapleton penned “Starting Over” with Mike Henderson, his longtime creative collaborator and former member of The SteelDrivers. The track begins with the country star contemplating a change of scenery, hoping to outrun the troubles he’s facing. 

Stapleton’s wife and fellow musical talent Morgane adds heartfelt harmonies to the song’s anthemic chorus.

And it don’t matter to me
Wherever we are is where I wanna be
And honey, for once in our life
Let’s take our chances and roll the dice
And I can be your lucky penny
You can be my four leaf clover
Starting over

In the following verse, Stapleton admits the path ahead may be bumpy, but it’s a journey worth the risk. Some day, we’ll look back and smile / And know it was worth every mile.

The Meaning and Impact

Poetic yet relatable, “Starting Over” celebrates the possibilities that can follow a fresh start. The expertly written tune never directly defines the troubles that are haunting the narrator. That vagueness allows the listener to put themselves in the song, which offers a message of reassurance. Although none of us can predict what life will throw our way, Stapleton’s lyrics remind us that beginning a new chapter could lead to better things ahead.

When “Starting Over” debuted on country radio in August 2020, the world was still in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The song’s message of hope amidst an unexpected and dark chapter felt especially timely as we all tried to navigate a “new normal.” 

Stapleton and Henderson’s ability to craft lyrics that resonate sets “Starting Over” apart, winning the hearts of fans and adding another No. 1 hit to their songwriting resumes.

Photo by Becky Fluke, Courtesy of Sacks & Co.

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