Kip Moore – “Mary Was the Marrying Kind”

Karlie Justus | April 8th, 2011

Kip MooreSongwriters: Kip Moore, Scott Stepakoff and Dan Couch

Country music has featured a wide range of female names in songs, using specific women such as Vince Gill’s “Liza Jane” to address the universal highs and lows of love.

This category includes songs that play off city names – Blake Shelton’s “Austin” and Alan Jackson’s “Dallas” come to mind, although Keith Whitley rules supreme with “Miami, My Amy” and “Charlotte’s in North Carolina.” Others span from silly (Diamond Rio’s “Norma Jean Riley”) to nostalgic (Phil Vassar’s “Carlene”), with classics such as Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and Kenny Rogers’ “Lucille” in the mix as well.

Newcomer Kip Moore makes his way into this club with his debut single “Mary Was the Marrying Kind,” a retrospective character study of the women of his past and, most importantly, the one who isn’t a part of his present. The song is an adventurous first go at country radio that demands attention, both for its string of intertwined stories and for Moore’s insistent delivery.

For anyone expecting a baby girl in the coming months, the song should help to sort through possible female monikers quicker than any baby name book – Moore describes Virginia, and Tammy, and Jenny, and Becky, and a few others before focusing on Mary. He paints vivid pictures with unique details about a believable range of women, before honing in on the one that got away. In addition to the obvious play off Mary and marry, the virginal, special connotations that come along with the name isn’t lost on Moore or listeners.

However, the range present in the lyrics is missing from Moore’s performance. The regret that comes with the realization of love lost is palpable in his husky delivery, but he blows out every corner of the song’s chorus with an intensity that, when coupled with its heavy-handed production, feels sloppy and reaching compared to its effortless, stream-of-consciousness verses.

Despite those lapses, the winning one-two punch comes in the song’s bridge, when Moore receives confirmation of his titular assertion: “My best friend proved what I already knew/Mary was the marrying kind.” Just as Mary sticks with the singer, that line has staying power of its own.

Like Brad Paisley’s “Alcohol,” the sequence of “Mary Was the Marrying Kind” is best revealed on its very first listen. Subsequent plays aren’t as satisfying, but Moore’s talent as a songwriter and artist are no less impressive. Mary may be the marrying kind, but I look forward to more of Moore’s first album.

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Listen: Kip Moore – “Mary Was the Marrying Kind”

  1. Noeller
    April 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

    It’s interesting. Dude has a different kinda voice – sorta like Pinson or Anthony Smith. It’s a cool song thought — different — and that’s a good thing!

  2. AtlantaFan
    April 8, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Like this one.

  3. ClemsonBrad
    April 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Love this song. He does have the same feel as a Pinson or Anthony Smith(Those two have the most under-rated debut albums of all times.) I can’t wait to hear more from this guy

  4. Mike W.
    April 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Really like this song. Moore is on my “watch” list for 2011, hopefully this song does well enough at radio to get more songs out there from him and hopefully this is an indication of a artist capable of more than one or two good songs.

  5. Matt B
    April 9, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Ya mean nobody’s said how much he sounds like early Billy Ray Cyrus (outside of “Achy Breaky”)?

  6. Rick
    April 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I just can’t bring mtself to listen to a song by an artist named “Kip”. I’d expect a Kip to write a song more along the lines of “Mary Was The Surfing (or Skateboarding, or Sonwboarding, etc) Kind”. Crikey mate…

  7. Ben Foster
    April 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    In a way, this song reminds me of Randy Montana’s “1,000 Faces,” but I think this song does the concept much better because there’s a better narrative with a bridge tying the verses together. I like it.

  8. luckyoldsun
    April 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Matt B–
    Definitely sounds a lot like BRC.

  9. Dustin J.
    April 11, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I actually think his voice reminds me a little of Trent Willmon.

  10. Spoony
    April 14, 2011 at 12:36 am

    I couldn’t figure out where I had heard this before, I haven’t, but he reminds me a lot of Trent Willmon, thanks for the memory jog Dustin!

  11. Amy Lou
    July 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    This song is on the CD that I have by another artist, but I can figure out who! Great song. I’m not sure if it’s Kip Moore or the other artist who sings it on the CD I have.

  12. Steve
    May 15, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Like it – like the nostalgia, the bridge and delivery. More Kip!

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