Jason Isbell explained how he wrote the track: "There were two things that happened at the same time that I thought were unrelated until I actually started the process of writing the song," he said. "I was on the phone with my dad, and he works six days a week, sometimes seven days a week; he does maintenance at a hospital. And my sister, she and my stepmom go to church on Wednesdays [and] on Sunday mornings. Dad works all week, so you know, Sunday's his only day to sleep past 5 a.m."
"So I was on the phone with him, and he was saying, 'You know, I wish I could go to church with them. I think I probably should be, but I'm just too exhausted every Sunday to do that,'" Isbell continued. "And it occurred to me, I thought, 'Man, what kind of a position is that to be in - you know, where you're really grateful for having this job that prevents you from being grateful in public about it in the way that people in my part of the country normally show their gratitude, by going to church and giving thanks with their community for something like that?'"
Isbell was struck by the thought of his father employed in a job that supports a life, which he doesn't have time to appreciate. It also connected with a lyric idea that he'd come up with while on a plane. "The first line of the song … 'When I get home from work, I'll call up all my friends, and we'll go bust up something beautiful we'll have to build again' - that came to me before the rest of the song did, and I was so thankful for that line." Isbell said. "It was one of those lines, and I know these are going to work out well when I don't have to record any sound, when I can just write it down on a piece of paper, and I don't forget the melody."