Luke Bryan, ‘Suntan City’ – Lyrics Uncovered
The lyrics to Luke Bryan‘s ‘Suntan City,’ the title track of his new ‘Spring Break’ EP which hits stores on March 6, are just weeks old, but are already a big hit following the release of the music video. The idea behind the song came from ASCAP’s 2011 Songwriter of the Year, Ben Hayslip, who wrote the tune with his fellow Peach Pickers Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson — along with Bryan.
“We were writing one day on our usual Peach Pickers Wednesday, and Luke called in the middle of our writing session,” Hayslip tells Taste of Country. “He said, ‘Y’all need to come over to the house and let’s write a song.’ He needed songs for the new ‘Spring Break’ EP. We had no ideas … we had nothing. I don’t know where the title ‘Suntan City’ came from, but it was given to us.”
“I’m sittin’ pretty in Suntan City / Got the best view in the world / Spendin’ my days catchin’ these rays / Watchin’ coconut covered girls / They keep strollin’ by / And they keep rollin’ in / Like the waves on the sand / Yeah, I’m sittin’ pretty in Suntan City / With a cold one in my hand,” they wrote in the lyrics to the song’s chorus.
“We sat here and pretty much had the chorus mapped out before we got to Luke’s house, because when you write with somebody — a huge artist like Luke — you don’t want to have to sit around for hours, trying to come up with something,” explains Akins. “You kind of want to make it as easy as possible because they don’t have a lot of time. He’s there with his wife and kids, and it was night time. He doesn’t have a lot of time to sit around messing with a song. We kind of had an idea of the chorus, and we sang it to Luke. When Luke likes something, his whole body like explodes. When he gets excited about something, you know he likes it. You can tell by the look on his face.”
“It was bumper to bumper when I hit Bay County / So I stopped and let the top down / Speakers where a bumpin / Little hip-hop somethin’ / I was stirrin’ up a coke and crown / Didn’t even check in the room / We went straight for the beach / Didn’t even give the ice a chance to melt / Now I’m scoutin’ my spot / Where we were gunna rock / With the biggest buzz I ever felt,” they wrote in the opening lyrics to the song.
“Luke came up with the first line … ‘it was bumper to bumper when I hit Bay County,’” Akins recalls of writing ‘Suntan City.’ “Bay County is where Panama City is. When you go down there on Spring Break, you get there and think you’re almost at the beach. You’re only 10 miles from the beach, but it takes three hours to get there because the traffic is so bad. As soon as Luke said that, we were in!”
The writers — who all hail from Georgia — gave their state a shoutout in the song’s second verse: “Hey there cutie with a Kentucky koozie / Have you ever hung with a Georgia boy? / And why don’t you and your friends / Ease on over here and chug a beer with Miss Illinois.”
“Luke got the second verse out in like one breath,” says Hayslip.
“This is a cool thing because Ben and Rhett have been best friends since they were 14, and me and Luke became best friends a little after that,” Davidson adds. “They grew up together; me and Luke grew up together. We all went down to Panama City and down to Florida to the same beaches, and I think all four of us were definitely on the same beach in our heads when writing this song. It’s cool for all four of us to be on this song.”
Watch the Luke Bryan ‘Suntan City’ Video