Lighten Up

Album: Skeletons (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Written by John and TJ Osborne with Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk, this swampy rave-up plays on the titular phrase in several ways.

    They'll be walking into the roadside bar around the time the lights go on.

    When the sun goes down
    We'll be rollin' up
    About the time to lighten up


    The brothers are lighting up a cigarette in the car and passing it around.

    Southpaw pass it around
    Gon' keep the windows up
    'Cause we'll be lightin' up


    People are getting too serious about this world gone crazy. We can uplift others by showing them we care.

    Maybe everybody could lighten up
    When the road gets a little tough, give a little love


    Being part of a crowd singing along to an anthemic song will boost your mood too.

    And put your lighters in the air then light 'em up
  • John Osborne told Country Town: "'Lighten Up' is a song about us realizing we need to take a load off, relax for a minute, get together and enjoy each other."
  • Brothers Osborne recorded the song for Skeletons, an album released on October 9, 2020 amid the COVID pandemic. TJ Osborne told Billboard they recorded it with live concerts in mind and "Lighten Up" opening the show. Because they couldn't tour due to the coronavirus pandemic, they recorded the tracks with their touring band, "So hopefully the album does act as a placeholder to be the next best."
  • John and TJ Osborne give a shout-out to their older brother:

    Now, Brotha Jimbo ain't no late night toker
    Never been one to roll with the holy rollers


    Another Skeletons track, "Dead Man's Curve," is loosely based on John and TJ's sister.
  • The Brothers Osborne reunited with former tour mate and "Burning Man" duet partner Dierks Bentley to perform this song at the 2021 CMT Awards.

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