He Loves Me

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Songfacts®:

  • Over steady beats and vivacious guitar, Brittany Howard discusses her relationship with God.

    I don't go to church any more
    I know He still loves me


    Howard told Apple Music she was penning her record with some Compressor software, which she used to put in drums, guitar and bass, but every time the Alabama Shakes singer tried to write a verse to go along with the music, she would get stuck. Eventually, Howard decided to follow the bassline and improvise. The first thing that came out of her mouth was "I don't go to church anymore. I know he still loves me."
  • Brittany's older sister Jaime died of etinoblastoma, a rare of form of eye cancer, at the age of 13. Her death took its toll on their family, and they grew apart from one another and their family church. This song was written from the perspective of being loved by God. "I thought God had intended to hurt us or punish us," the singer explained, "but I later realized that I found God in music and I found God in my voice."

    "I learned that He always had a plan for myself and my family. That is what 'He Loves Me' is about," Howard added. "It is my greatest realization that He has never left me. All those years that I had turned away, I was still receiving His absolute love and forgiveness."
  • Howard decided to go on the internet to find a preacher talking about why she should go to church. She wound up watching on YouTube a two-hour sermon by the Houston-based pastor Reverend Terry K. Anderson. "I loved the timbre of his voice so much that I pulled out parts of the sermon and stuck them in the song," the songstress said.
  • Mojo magazine asked Brittany Howard if this song is a direct admission of her faith. She replied:

    "I am definitely not into organized religion, but I'm definitely a spiritual person and when my sister got sick and passed away, my whole family was ripped away from the church. We will all were questioning why God would do something like this.

    I had a very gothic period in my life, from years 8 to 20. I was very unsure about the whole god God thing. And then when the Alabama Shakes started happening, and I got to travel and meet new people and experience incredible things, I started having this relationship with something higher, greater, other. It makes me feel so much more positive and aware of my own spiritual freeing."
  • I know he still loves me when
    I'm smoking blunts
    Loves me when I'm drinking too much


    Howard told Mojo the song is both an admission of religious guilt and an expression of how tolerant her God is, She explained: "When I grew up in church, there were a lot of things that would send you to hell. I thought, if he's and all- loving, all- powerful God like everyone is telling me, why would me getting drunk on a regular basis bar me from the pearly gates. You shouldn't have to feel guilty to be loved. It's really ridiculous."

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