White Man's World

Album: The Nashville Sound (2017)
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  • This song finds Jason Isbell and his band tackling one of the most prevalent social issues in the USA.

    I'm a white man living on a white man's street
    I got the bones of the red man under my feet
    The highway runs through the burial grounds
    Past the oceans of cotton

    "The song discusses my perspective on race and gender; I think its inspiration should be pretty obvious these days," Isbell explained to Consequence of Sound. "I think my job is to constantly evaluate my role in the human struggle for equality, without feeling guilt or shame for things I can't control."
  • Speaking on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, Isbell explained he wrote the song after thinking about his daughter the day following Donald Trump's election to the presidency.

    "The thing that popped into my mind first was 'Thank God she's an infant, because I don't have to explain any of this to her,'" he said. "She'll figure it out as she grows up, but if she was a couple of years older I would have to be like, 'OK, honey here's what happened today and this is why your father doesn't really know anything about human people in this country anymore."
  • One of the lyrics was inspired by Jason Isbell's wife, the singer-songwriter and violinist Amanda Shires.

    Mama wants to change that Nashville sound
    But they're never gonna let her

    Isbell explained to Rolling Stone: "Some idiot country-radio guy said that women were 'the tomatoes on the salad,' meaning they were there to kind of decorate country radio's actual revenue stream. That got me thinking how little value is given to women in that world. I've seen it with Amanda. She writes her own songs and tours, and through her experience I've seen how much harder it is for her. You don't get the same respect. It is not a level playing field by any means."
  • When Amanda Shires attended the 2017 CMA Awards, she wore a T-shirt with the "Mama wants to change that Nashville sound. But they're never gonna let her" lyrics proudly displayed.

Comments: 1

  • Danny Taylor from Murray Kentucky Big fan of your talent. Saw you at Ryman in Nashville Wednesday. Please leave political views out of your performance. Good people left and right. Conservative or Liberal. Don't do this to little Mercy. The Man upstairs Never goes on Vacation! IN AWE OF YOUR TALENT.
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