Sam Hunt certainly ascribes to the classic mantra, "write what you know." And in his case, what he knew was his relationship with his girlfriend, now wife, Hannah Lee Fowler — the ups and downs and everything in between.
So he wrote about it, and what resulted was Montevallo (named for her hometown) and soon after, his explosive success. Hunt wears his heart on his sleeve and isn’t one for subtlety, so oftentimes his songs are upfront and easy for fans to parse when it comes to subject matter. Now that he and Hannah are happily married — they wed on April 15, 2017 — we thought we’d revisit some of the times Hunt explored their relationship in his lyrics … and it got real.
Though Keith Urban actually made this song a hit, Hunt's delivery is undeniably honest. The sweet sentiment juxtaposed with the slightly rebellious situation he lays out creates a romantic song any girl would love to be written about them. It’s a recounting of a small run-in with the law, about which Hunt is not concerned. He’s only concerned with the girl in the backseat with him. The clever lyrics are an ode to her free spirit and fun-loving personality — alongside, of course, her beauty. "Cop Car" is a lovely tribute rooted in the small town aesthetic Hunt so easily accesses.
Sam Hunt is no gentleman in "Body Like a Back Road." "The way she fit in them blue jeans, she don't need no belt / But I can turn them inside out, I don't need no help," Hunt sings unapologetically. Hannah's curves slow down time, and the star wants everyone to know it, releasing this song as a single in advance of his second album, Southside.
This ballad is simultaneously sweet and a bit seductive in its approach, declaring love for a woman (presumably Hannah) that will be so strong, she won’t be able to forget it. Even though she so often enjoys something for a minute, then moves on — including guys — he explains that’s simply because they weren’t worth missing. But he’s different. The tune certainly resonated with fans, as it was Hunt’s fourth No. 1, making him the first male solo artist to earn four chart-toppers from a debut album.
"Break Up in a Small Town"
Sam and Hannah are both from small towns — Hunt from Cedartown, Ga., and Hannah from the aforementioned Montevallo — so they know what it’s like for everyone and their mama to know your business. This song is an explanation of what it’s really like when a couple breaks up, but still has to see each other and face the fallout every single day. Hunt (and co-writers Zach Crowell and Shane McAnally) remembers the pain of having to see his ex with one of his friends, awkward interactions with mutual friends after the fact, and everything reminding him of her. Anyone who grew up in a small town knows this feeling well, and it is all too real.
This edgy track mashes up traces of rock, hip-hop and country to convey the exciting, yet frustrating experience of being a rebound — used simply to make an ex jealous. Hunt admittedly doesn’t seem to mind it all that much when all is said and done, though, and even feeds into the charade which, along with the play on words (ex-to-see, ecstasy — get it?) brings a sexy vibe to the tune. Hannah and Hunt were notably on-again, off-again for a while before marrying, so perhaps this situation rekindled a romance between them, or was the genesis of what became their lifelong commitment to each other. Either way, this song gets real honest about the complicated feelings of dating someone who’s not quite over their ex.
"Drinkin’ Too Much" is Sam Hunt's realest Hannah Lee Fowler song by far. From the first word, the lyrics are a letter aimed directly at Hannah in an attempt to win her back after their breakup. Hunt confesses his sins, pleads forgiveness, and even apologizes for the unwanted attention his Montevallo album brought to her and how its success affected their relationship. The sparse production allows for the poignant, personal lyrics to be elevated even more, leaving fans with zero questions about how he felt about everything that went down. Whether it was the song or not, Hannah did, of course, take him back, as they are now husband and wife, but this song is a baring of the soul many artists would be afraid to put out there.
Who Is Sam Hunt's Wife, Anyway?