• Jason Isbell's parents were both teenagers when he was born, and they later divorced. Here, Isbell sings of a tumultuous childhood and a broken home.

    Why can't daddy just come home?
    Forget whatever he did wrong
    He's in a hotel all alone
    And we need him
  • Though there were many difficult, heartbreaking moments in his home life, there were some beautiful ones too. Isbell reflects in the chorus:

    A dreamsicle on a summer night
    In a folding lawn chair
    I'm still packing up my room
    Gotta get home soon

    He explained to Apple Music: "It's a sad story about a child who's in the middle of a home that's breaking apart. But I find that if you can find positive anchors for those kinds of stories, if you can go back to a memory that is positive - and that's what the chorus does - then once you're there, inside that time period in your life, it makes it a little easier to look around and pay attention to the darker things. This kind of song could have easily been too sad. It's sad enough as it is, but there are some very positive moments, the chorus being the most important: You're just sitting in a chair having a popsicle on a summer night, which is what kids are supposed to be doing. But then, you see that things are pretty heavy at home."
  • Both Isbell and his wife Amanda Shires were very young when their parents split up. "I was blending our two stories," he explained to "Austin City Limits Live. "It's not exactly a heartbreaking song, it's just sort of a picture of a kid's life. I wanted to keep the voice of the child-narrator but also retain a retrospective quality to show it's something the child survived."
  • Isbell previously sang about his parents' and in-laws' marriage on his 2015 track "Children of Children." On that song he contemplates their early entry into parenthood.

Comments: 1

  • Adrian from 85140Tragically beautiful... There is so much pain and sadness in life, one wishes, one hope’s for a place like heaven. Mr. Isbell will be there... at least in my heaven. His lyrics and music shall be lauded for its truthful simplicity at describing the perils and pleasures of life and his honest introspective acknowledgement of being perfectly imperfect. More could—should be said and shared by this wonderful artist and his hauntingly beautiful and poignant storytelling. To Jason, thank you from a new fan, keep on keeping on. To his wife Amanda, hang on, but be ready to let go, if/when necessary. To Miss Mercy, soon you will realize that angels exist, and sometimes they are your parents. All the blessings...
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