When The Ship Goes Down

Album: Water In A Whale (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • Jillette Johnson was still living in New York City when she wrote this song, which deals with the overwhelming feeling that came with being a young musician trying to get her feet off the ground in the big city. "I was straddling the line of being aware of how small I was and how huge the mountain I'm trying to climb was," she said on the Songfacts Podcast. "I was also aware of how romantic of a city New York is, being a young person living there. I was in my early 20s living my dream. I had a record deal and I was touring, so I was in this constant back and forth of being really humbled and also being in a fantasy world."
  • "When The Ship Goes Down" is part of Johnson's debut album, Water In A Whale. A few years later, she moved to Nashville, which is where she met her husband. The song stuck in her live repertoire, but has evolved. "I love this song," she said. "It's definitely one of those songs from my first record that still hits me in different ways when I hear it and I still love to play it. I do think I have evolved as a songwriter since I wrote this song."
  • At the time, I was living in New York City and I was straddling the line of being aware of how small I was and how huge the mountain I'm trying to climb was. I was also aware of how romantic of a city New York is, being a young person living there. I was in my early 20s living my dream. I had a record deal and I was touring, so I was in this constant back and forth of being really humbled and also being in a fantasy world.

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