Man That Hung the Moon

Album: Fire & Brimstone (2019)


  • Brantley Gilbert wrote this emotional ballad for his son Barrett and also for the daughter he is expecting. The tough-guy singer addresses his children unabashedly.

    Lost my breath when I saw you take your first
    My whole world stopped like that
    And I ain't the cryin' type
    But I just saw your eyes
    Words just can't describe what I see
    You look just like me

    Gilbert wrote the song in September 2018, on the same day he found out his wife Amber was pregnant with their baby girl. "I sat down to write them a letter," he recalled. "But I'm a songwriter first, so I ended up with this song."
  • Gilbert has spoken publicly about his heavy-drinking past and other ups and downs. In the final verse, he concludes that one day his children will realize he's only human.

    And you'll need more than me
    You'll know to hit your knees
    If I've done my job right, you'll know where to find
    The man that really hung the moon

    Gilbert explained that he wrote the song in anticipation of the day his kids will see his flaws. "They're gonna know sooner than other [children know about their dads] that I'm not a superhero. I don't have a cape, and I can't fly," he told The Boot. "I wanted them to have a song that they could listen to and know, 'At one point, you're gonna figure out I'm not a superhero, and you're gonna need more than me. Hopefully, I've done my job well enough to show you that when that time comes, there is a man who really did hang the moon, and who's got your back now, and always will.'"
  • Gilbert ends the song with a spoken-word recitation in which he addresses his kids directly:

    No matter what
    No matter where I am
    Just know I love you
    With all I am
    Me and your Mama both
  • The song recounts a relationship between father and son, covering the early years when he idolizes his dad to the time when he realizes his father isn't perfect.

    Someday, Gilbert told People, his own son, Barrett, will learn about his dad's past battles with alcohol and opiate addiction: "At some point, he'll actually look things up on the internet and find out that, 'Hey, my dad's not quite a superhero. He was quite the opposite there for a minute.' Man, I'm dreading that."

    He'll do his best to make sure Barrett hears the full story that his father turned from his "bumpy" past. "I hope he goes, 'Oh, well, my dad started making some different decisions even before I came into the picture,'" Gilbert said.
  • There is a loose theme running through Fire and Brimstone of the one-time "Bad Boy" singing about his family and faith. This song is a case in point; it is sung by Gilbert for his children with a spiritual message: "[It] says, basically, one day you're gonna need more than me," he explained to The Boot, "and when you do, know that somebody upstairs has got your back."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Andy McClusky of OMD

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

90s Music Quiz 1

90s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

First question: Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson appeared in videos for what artist?

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New York

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.

Michael W. Smith

Michael W. SmithSongwriter Interviews

Smith breaks down some of his worship tracks as well as his mainstream hits, including "I Will Be Here For You" and "A Place In This World."

Jeff Trott

Jeff TrottSongwriter Interviews

Sheryl Crow's longtime songwriting partner/guitarist Jeff Trott reveals the stories behind many of the singer's hits, and what its like to be a producer for Leighton Meester and Max Gomez.

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).