Man That Hung the Moon

Album: Fire & Brimstone (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • 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."

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