Top Ten Songs by Jeff Bates

Jeff Bates has a reputation for writing and performing songs with heart. It’s hard to pick just ten – between the songs he’s done and those written for others there are several standouts. Each listener will find songs they relate to perhaps differently than I do. A song not released as a single or not gathering awards is no less important when it impacts someone’s life – and Jeff’s songs have a habit of doing that. With two CDs released on RCA

My choices for top songs – not necessarily in order:

Long Slow Kisses – Jeff hit the charts for an amazing extended run with this song about rekindling romance. For months it remained on the radio airwaves and brought with it identification from not only women but men also, who realized their relationship wasn’t what they wanted it to be and were willing to make the effort to improve it.

My Mississippi – This song evokes the feeling of a hot summer day – those days taking a break in the shade when it’s just too hot to move. It could easily be a “come to Mississippi” tourist song because it’s hard to not want a piece of that “life is good” feeling.

Rainbow Man – This is a song that speaks of Jeff’s personal experience – being adopted, the hate generated from being different. Ironically, while pointing out “we’re all different but the same” there are people who found the song offensive. It was the title cut from his first cd and with good reason. With it Jeff lays it all out here in a “this is me” fashion. He doesn’t claim to be perfect, he doesn’t come across with the egotistical bravado of some singers. He KNOWS his roots even though he doesn’t know his biological father.

Someone To Watch Over Me – This was a pre-RCA song reminiscent of George Strait’s “The Chair” – but done with Jeff’s own style. It’s a song that makes you feel like you can sit down and chat – an invitation but without the expectation it will be accepted…and it’s something we all hit sometimes.

I Can’t Write That – Absolutely knock down powerful. The first time I heard this song was summer 2004 and it was an instant favorite. It rips your heart out – facing writing something down and putting it to music while resisting getting bringing up the hurt that doesn’t go away. Whether someone leaves a relationship or is taken from this world a loss is felt. Emotion drives a good song – be it happy or sad or torn apart. The song is simple – a guitar, a keyboard intro and his voice. “..I’d have to remember the day she went away…and I can’t write that I’d have to sing it and if I sung it I’d have to live it and if I lived it it would kill me cause she aint ever comin’ back…”

No Shame – A single that didn’t get the radio airplay deserved…who doesn’t want to hear their partner would leave everything else to be with them? The feeling like there’s someone who would crawl through broken glass for them – no matter what others think. “..No Shame…no holdin’ back baby…insane cause you make me so crazy..” It’s not putting someone on a pedestal but making them a priority in their life.

One Second Chance – one of the most powerful songs in a while that radio hasn’t given nearly the attention it should get. This song received a standing ovation when Jeff performed it at the Grand Old Opry – a recognition of the power of the song. It was done for “anyone who needs forgiveness…or who needs to give forgiveness.” This is a song that cuts to the heart of having done wrong and the uncertainty it will ever be right again; being unable to fix things and needing a second chance. The accompanying video is set perfectly to the song.

Leave The Light On – in the spirit of “Long Slow Kisses” this is the title cut from Jeff’s second CD. It captures the personal most private sharing between a couple but doesn’t come off sleazy. “I love the way your hair lays on your shoulders and how it shines there in the light…I want to hold you so come a little closer don’t want to miss a thing tonight…baby leave the light on..” and with an opening like that what woman doesn’t want to feel special? It’s another song doing what Jeff has mastered – saying things in a song for women but in a way that it comes from the men in their lives.

The Love Song – a song highlighting the different ways we experience love this was a big hit for Jeff off his first cd. Beyond that it shows the little things that make a difference. From playing ball with a dad who’s too busy making a living to falling for a girl to experiencing the birth of a child – and linking all in a “circle of love”.

The Wings of Mama’s Prayers – another personal autobiographical song from Jeff’s first RCA CD. Although about specific situations in his life it reaches across time and distance and other lives to mean something to a lot of people in a lot of different situations.

Worth a mention:
The Woman He Walked On – “You don’t hurt a woman if you’re a real man and then turn your back on her tears…” the opening line of this gets to the point. While there are many songs that speak of domestic abuse there are few that approach it from the standpoint of the other person affected – the next partner. They are the one to have their patience tested, and try to “right all he did wrong..”

Careful Where You Kiss Me – this is a suggestive but fun song that Andy Griggs recorded on his “This I Gotta See” cd – Jeff wrote this one and it definitely earns a mention.

Break My Heart Again – Another song written but done by someone else – in this case Montgomery Gentry off their “My Town” cd. Classic country sound – no mistaking this for pop or rock.

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