The song is also autobiographical to Isbell himself. The singer-songwriter, who played with the famously unruly Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers for six years, was persuaded by his future wife, singer-songwriter/fiddler Amanda Shires, to give up alcohol.
"When I got sober, the initial steps that I took to get my life together, I did [them] because of my wife, Amanda, who was not my wife at time," he told Esquire
regarding the inspiration he pulled from while writing "Time."
"I soon realized that any sort of exterior motivation is not going to be enough, even if it's a person that you are completely in love with. You have to want that type of redemption for yourself to make it a reality."