About The Song

Background

“Strawberry Wine” is a song recorded by American country music artist Deana Carter. It was released in August 1996 as the lead single from her debut album, Did I Shave My Legs for This?. The song was written by Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison and quickly became a defining hit for Carter, launching her into stardom and earning her widespread acclaim.

Songwriters and Inspiration

Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison are both renowned songwriters in the country music scene. Berg drew from her own personal experiences for the lyrics of “Strawberry Wine,” recalling youthful memories of spending summers on her grandparents’ farm in Florida. The song’s vivid imagery and nostalgic tone reflect Berg’s own coming-of-age experiences and the bittersweet nature of first love.

Musical Style

“Strawberry Wine” is a ballad that showcases Deana Carter’s soft, emotive vocals against a backdrop of traditional country instrumentation. The song features a blend of acoustic guitar, steel guitar, and gentle percussion, creating a lush, mellow sound that perfectly complements its reflective lyrics.

Arrangement and Production

The production, handled by Chris Farren and Jimmy Bowen, emphasizes simplicity and emotional resonance. The arrangement allows Carter’s voice to take center stage, supported by subtle harmonies and instrumental flourishes that enhance the song’s nostalgic feel. The use of steel guitar and fiddle adds a traditional country touch, while the overall production remains polished and radio-friendly.
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Lyrics

The lyrics of “Strawberry Wine” tell the story of a young woman reminiscing about her first love. The narrative unfolds over the course of a summer, with the protagonist experiencing the highs and lows of youthful romance. Key themes include innocence, the passage of time, and the bittersweet nature of memories.

Verse 1

The song opens with the protagonist recalling her first love at the age of seventeen. She describes visiting her grandparents’ farm every summer, where she met a boy who worked on the farm. The imagery of “hot July moon” and “green on the vine” sets a vivid, pastoral scene, evoking the warmth and beauty of summer.

Chorus

The chorus is a poignant reflection on the protagonist’s lost innocence and the fleeting nature of first love. “Strawberry wine, seventeen” and “the hot July moon saw everything” encapsulate the intensity and purity of her youthful emotions. The repeated line “the fields have grown over now” signifies the passage of time and the end of that idyllic period in her life.

Verse 2

In the second verse, the protagonist reflects on how she has changed since those days. She compares her current self to the girl she once was, noting how life and love have left their marks on her. The lyrics “I still remember when thirty was old” highlight the contrast between her youthful perspective and her present reality.
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Bridge

The bridge serves as a poignant climax to the song, with the protagonist acknowledging that she will always cherish those memories, even though they are now in the past. The line “years of past and still it’s sweet” captures the enduring impact of her first love.

Cultural Impact

“Strawberry Wine” had a significant impact on both Deana Carter’s career and the country music genre as a whole. It was a commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and earning Carter several awards and nominations.

Awards and Recognition

The song won the Country Music Association (CMA) Award for Single of the Year in 1997, and Carter was nominated for several other awards, including Grammy nominations for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song. The song’s success also helped Carter’s debut album achieve multi-platinum status.

Influence on Country Music

“Strawberry Wine” is often credited with helping to usher in a new wave of female singer-songwriters in country music during the late 1990s. Its introspective lyrics and emotional depth resonated with audiences, paving the way for other artists to explore similar themes in their work.

Video

Lyrics

🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤
He was working through collegeOn my grandpa’s farmI was thirsting for knowledgeAnd he had a carYeah, I was caught somewhere between a woman and a childOne restless summer we found love growing wildOn the banks of the river on a well beaten pathIt’s funny how those memories they lastLike strawberry wine and seventeenThe hot July moon saw everythingMy first taste of love, oh bittersweetGreen on the vineLike strawberry wine
I still rememberWhen thirty was oldAnd my biggest fear was Septemberwhen he had to goA few cards and letters and one long distance callWe drifted away like the leaves in the fallBut year after year I come back to this placeJust to remember the tasteOf strawberry wine and seventeenThe hot July moon saw everythingMy first taste of love, whoa-oh, bittersweetGreen on the vineLike strawberry wine
The fields have grown over nowYears since they’ve seen the plowThere’s nothing time hasn’t touchedIs it really him or the loss of my innocence?I’ve been missing so much
Yeah
Strawberry wine and seventeenThe hot July moon saw everythingMy first taste of love, whoa-oh bittersweetAnd green on the vineLike strawberry wine and seventeenThe hot July moon saw everythingMy first taste of love, oh, bittersweetAnd green on the vineLike strawberry wine
Strawberry wineOohStrawberry wine

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